Microsoft is expanding the availability of its Friends & Family plan for Xbox Game Pass Ultimate to six additional countries following its initial pilot in Ireland and Columbia last year. The Friends & Family plan is now also available in New Zealand, South Africa, Chile, Hungary, Israel, and Sweden and allows Xbox Game Pass members to share benefits with up to four other friends or family members.
Each individual on a Friends & Family membership receives their own unique access to the entire Game Pass Ultimate library across Xbox and PC, EA Play, and other benefits like exclusive member discounts. Pricing for each new region will vary and has not been publicly disclosed by Microsoft. For context, though, the plan is currently available in Ireland for €21.99 per month (roughly $23) compared to the typical cost of €12.99 per month ($14.99) for a standard Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscription. That works out to less than €5 per month per person to share all the usual Xbox Game Pass Ultimate benefits.
Existing Game Pass Ultimate subscribers can convert their accounts to a Friends & Family plan without losing any value
There are a few caveats to signing up, though. First, Friends & Family memberships can only be shared with people that live in the same country as the account holder. Second, if you already have an Ultimate subscription and change to a Friends & Family one, then the remaining time in your membership is converted based on its monetary value. So, for example, if you’ve got a full month of Ultimate left, it will give you 18 days of Friends & Family. This conversion isn’t available for the four guests invited to join a Friends & Family plan, though, so non-account holders will need to cancel their own memberships before joining a shared account. Microsoft also notes that Xbox All Access subscription members aren’t eligible to participate in Friends & Family plans.
There’s still no word on when the Xbox Game Pass Ultimate Friends & Family plan will be available to other regions like the US, the UK, or Canada. Based on the plan’s current price, however, it’s likely to be around $25 a month when it does arrive in the US, which is an absolute steal if shared between five people. Microsoft’s move to introduce an affordable user-sharable subscription like this contrasts with Netflix’s efforts to crack down on password sharing. The streaming giant claimed last year that it loses around $6 billion in annual revenue due to password sharing, and recent efforts to put a stop to it didn’t exactly go well with subscribers.