Microsoft has shortened the duration of its $1 trials for Xbox Game Pass Ultimate and PC Game Pass, now offering only 14 days for new users instead of a whole month. This change was reported by The Verge and occurred just before the release of Bethesda’s Starfield on September 6th. These trials have been available for many years and were temporarily halted for new Xbox Game Pass Ultimate users in March. They resumed last month after Microsoft adjusted the pricing for Xbox Game Pass.
Starfield is one of the most anticipated video games of 2023. It’s noteworthy as the first single-player game from Bethesda since Fallout 4 in 2015 and marks their initial completely new IP in 25 years.
Microsoft had put a pause on the Xbox Game Pass trials while exploring different marketing approaches for new members. They introduced a new Game Pass referral program in May, enabling users to invite friends to experience PC Game Pass for 14 days. These changes to the trial structure have emerged not long after Microsoft raised the prices for Xbox Game Pass and introduced a new Xbox Game Pass Core subscription to replace Xbox Live Gold. The cost of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate increased from $14.99 to $16.99 per month. Additionally, the base pricing for Xbox Game Pass for Console was raised from $9.99 to $10.99 per month. Also, Microsoft is set to discontinue the Xbox Game Pass Friends & Family plan on August 15th, and it remains uncertain whether this “preview program” will make a comeback in the future.