Microsoft planned to eliminate the free Xbox Game Pass Ultimate benefit for most of its 238,000 employees in January, but the company is now reversing that decision following employee complaints. The edge reported yesterday that Microsoft employees had expressed objections to the removal of the Xbox Game Pass Ultimate benefit in 2024, with Xbox chief Phil Spencer personally looking into the situation.
Spencer has now confirmed that the decision will be reversed and Microsoft employees will retain the Xbox Game Pass Ultimate benefit. Here’s Spencer’s full message to Microsoft employees on the company’s internal Viva platform:
Having explored this further with the team, I just want to confirm that there will be no changes to Game Pass availability in 2024. If you have access to the Game Pass offering today, you will continue to have access to it . I appreciate the time taken to get up to speed and am sorry for the questions and confusion created. And thank you for supporting Xbox.
This reversal means that Microsoft employees continue to have free access to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, which they have had since the subscription option launched in 2019. Microsoft employees have long enjoyed free access to Xbox subscriptions, with Xbox Live Gold previously available as a subscription. a benefit for employees for years.
It’s not immediately clear why Microsoft initially decided to remove this benefit, but it appears to be more of a benefits and HR decision, since Spencer was unaware that it was planned and quickly decided to revert the change.