microsoft expands access to pc game pass to 40 new countries

Microsft is announcing today that it is expanding the list of countries that can have access to “a preview” of its PC Game Pass subscription to add 40 new nations from multiple continents including South America, Africa, Europe, and Asia.

Effective immediately, gamers within these countries can get access to Xbox’s library of over 100 high-quality PC games including those created by Bethesda Games, Electronic Arts, and Xbox’s in-house studio.

Based on recent similar offerings made by Microsoft (MSFT), users would pay $1 per month initially to give the subscription a try and will see the subscription cost rise to $9.99 per month once that trial period ends. The subscription can be cancelled at any time.

Microsoft is Seeing Explosive Growth in its PC Gaming Subscriptions

After today’s decision, the number of countries that can now access PC Game Pass has increased to 86. According to comments from the Chief Executive Officer of Microsoft’s Gaming Unit, Phil Spencer, the Xbox Game Pass accounts for 15% of the console’s revenue.

In addition, the head of Microsoft, Satya Nadella, said that PC Game Pass subscriptions during the first quarter of the firm’s 2023 fiscal year experienced a significant increase compared to the previous year.

“PC Game Pass subscriptions increased 159% year over year. And with cloud gaming, we’re transforming how games are distributed, played and viewed. More than 20 million people have used the service to stream games to date. And we are adding support for new devices like handhelds from Logitech and Razor as well as Meta Quest”, Nadella told analysts during the Q1 2023 earnings call.

Also read: 16 Best Play to Earn Games in 2023 – Business 2 Community

In April last year, Microsoft made a similar move to open up access to the Xbox PC Game Pass to five countries in Southeast Asia.

“Our goal is to bring PC Game Pass to more countries where Windows is available to help us reach over 3 billion gamers worldwide. We are off to a strong start in Southeast Asia where we saw great demand for PC Game Pass during the preview period”, the company stated back then, and they have lived up to that promise.

Completing the Activision-Blizzard Acquisition Would be Huge for Xbox

Microsoft is embarked on a journey to get regulators’ nod to complete the acquisition of Activsion-Blizzard. The company has faced opposition in three key markets thus far – the United States, the United Kingdom, and the European Union – amid concerns that the deal could harm consumers.

The most hostile of the three jurisdictions has been the US, where the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has sued the company to block the acquisition altogether. According to the agency, the $69 billion purchase would give the Redmond-based tech company the ability “to suppress competitors to its Xbox gaming consoles and its rapidly growing subscription content and cloud-gaming business”.

Meanwhile, both the European Union and the UK have expressed similar concerns but they have been more open to hearing Microsoft’s opinions and those of other companies that may be affected by the takeover if it is ultimately completed.

The company headed by Nadella can still offer remedies that may be considered acceptable by regulators such as breaking up Activision-Blizzard’s business into separate divisions. By doing this, Microsoft could sell some of the company’s most popular assets such as its Call of Duty and Diablo games to a non-affiliated third party.

Another alternative that the firm has is signing deals with its competitors, which, in this case, are Sony and Nintendo primarily, to guarantee that they will have access to these titles for their respective consoles under the same conditions that Microsoft’s Xbox would.

Thus far, the company has already got Nintendo on board but Sony is refusing to cave as the terms of the agreement presented by Microsoft have not met the Japanese company’s expectations.

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