Xbox Game Pass has had a bit of an odd year so far. Coming out of the gate fairly strong, Xbox Game Pass saw a handful of Persona games get added to the service in January, and since then, it’s had at least one heavy-hitter every month, with RTS games such as Mount and Blade 2 and Age of Empires 2, as well as Ghostwire: Tokyo being some of the highlights so far. But aside from those, Xbox Game Pass’ monthly offerings have been a little underwhelming, and that’s more noticeable now than ever before.
For the first half of the year, Xbox Game Pass subscribers were fine with minimal offerings, as they were being promised some huge AAA, first-party exclusives later in the year, and the first of those was meant to be Redfall. Unfortunately, Redfall wasn’t quite the critically-acclaimed release fans or Xbox hoped it was going to be, and now Xbox Game Pass has been left floating in the wind, but that might be for the best right now.
Xbox Game Pass Should Keep Its Head Down For Now
Redfall did not receive the critical reception Xbox was betting on, and a few weeks from its release date, all eyes are very much still on Xbox. More than ever, Xbox really needs to deliver some high-quality experiences soon, and through interviews like the one with Phil Spencer on Kinda Funny’s Xcast, it seems like the team at Xbox knows this better than anyone. One more wrong move like Redfall and the Xbox brand could be seriously harmed. Therefore, it’s no wonder that Xbox Game Pass is currently lying low.
Xbox Game Pass’ upcoming slate for May is quite underwhelming. Currently, the rest of May on Xbox Game Pass sees just another handful of games come to the service, with the only standouts being FIFA 23 on May 16, Amnesia: The Bunker on May 23, and finally Farworld Pioneers rounding out the month on May 30. While there are a few more titles sprinkled in between, they’re all relatively unknown. And while Xbox Game Pass’ line-up for June 2023 hasn’t been revealed just yet, it’ll likely follow a similar pattern.
But while Xbox Game Pass’ upcoming slate might not be the most exciting, it’s probably in the service’s best interest. Just a few weeks ago, Star Wars Jedi: Survivor was released to both a great critical and fan reception, and its sales were higher than some expected. Jedi: Survivor‘s release managed to take quite a bit of heat away from Redfall‘s shaky launch, especially as it had its own set of technical controversies.
Just last week, Hogwarts Legacy was released for Xbox One and PlayStation 4, and it’s once again pushed its way to the top of the sales charts. Now, with the launch of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, the gaming public has its next point of discussion for at least the rest of the month.
Right now, there’s really nothing that Xbox Game Pass could offer that would put it in the spotlight, so it’s honestly better for the service to just lie low for a little while. This not only helps Game Pass distance itself from Redfall, but also lets it take a breather while Tears of the Kingdom takes the spotlight. In this downtime, Xbox can retreat, regroup, and come up with a bold strategy for the rest of the year, preferably one that doesn’t rely solely on Bethesda’s Starfield, as no matter how good the game ends up being, it isn’t enough to sell Xbox Game Pass forever.
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