Microsoft is ending its Xbox Game Pass Friends & Family plan. The plan had already spread to eight countries as of February, allowing Xbox Game Pass members to share benefits with up to four other friends or family members. There’s no sign if it will ever return.
A Microsoft spokesperson has now confirmed to Eurogamer that the Xbox Game Pass Friends & Family plan will come to a close on August 15th:
The Friends & Family Preview will end on August 15, in all participating countries (Ireland, Colombia, New Zealand, Sweden, Israel, Chile, Hungary, and South Africa). We are no longer accepting new registrations and new member additions to existing plans will no longer be accepted after July 17. The Friends & Family preview was announced in August of 2022 with the intent to learn more about how to shape new Game Pass offerings. We look forward to using those learnings to help create an offer we can bring to more players worldwide in the future.
It’s not clear if Microsoft plans to launch its Xbox Game Pass Friends & Family plan in more markets eventually, or whether Microsoft will tweak the formula and pricing into something new.
Microsoft originally launched the plan without calling it a preview, instead mentioning in a FAQ at that time that it was piloting it in certain countries first. The pilot eventually launched in more markets, but Microsoft is now suggesting this was a “preview program” all along.
Existing preview members will be sent Xbox Game Pass Ultimate codes “as a thank you for participating” in Microsoft’s preview. Both primary and secondary members will receive codes, according to an Xbox support article.
News of the family plan ending in August comes just days after Microsoft bumped its overall Xbox Game Pass monthly prices. Xbox Game Pass Ultimate has moved from $14.99 per month to $16.99 (€14.99 / £12.99). The base Xbox Game Pass for Console pricing has also been increased from $9.99 a month up to $10.99 (€10.99 / £8.99). Microsoft has not changed its PC Game Pass pricing, though.