Does Xbox have a Game Pass gap to fill, or doesn’t Starfield lag matter?

bethesda pushed the AAA mega hit-in-waiting Starfield into 2023 along with the intriguing but less likely to sell in volume Redfall. While the latter didn’t have a date, it was expected to be released this year, sometime before Starfield. With those two games now off the release schedule of the year, what else is on the horizon for Game Pass, and does Xbox have a small issue that needs fixing?

It’s fair to say that for many people game pass is the platform – the Xbox console/PC/mobile is just the access to it. Losing two big games seems like a small problem, especially when you look at the past year, what’s to come and what happened last year.

Can Starfield live up to the hype?

By the end of 2021, Xbox had launched a few big hitters of its own. Forza Horizon 5 and Halo Infinite both qualify as true AAA goodness. The kind of games people who don’t read this site look forward to – games you might see advertised for before the big movie of the moment. Microsoft, apparently keen to have something special during all those big year-end months, managed to get Back 4 Blood onto Game Pass on the day of its release. You may have thought about how good Back 4 Blood is, but it was a great accomplishment for the service. A great third party game that you had to buy on other platforms.

In 2021 Flight Simulator, Psychonauts 2, Outriders, Dungeons & Dragons: Dark Alliance and The Ascent also came to Game Pass on day one – and many others. It’s been a great year being a Game Pass subscriber.


Last year was a good year for Game Pass.

Fast forward to today and things are looking less impressive; not bad, as Game Pass still regularly drops excellent games (and plenty of day-one indies), but it’s just a bit lacking in the big draw – the game that would entice someone to subscribe in much the same way How a game could push you over the line to buy a console. A service provider.

Tunic, Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Extraction, Total War: Warhammer III are all decent to great day one Game Pass games, and Sniper Elite 5 is coming soon, but then we have Tumbleweed for AAA. Xbox might announce something during its showcase event next month, but it seems unlikely that there’s a blockbuster game waiting in the wings to be released this year that we didn’t know about. So what games could it be, ala Back 4 Blood, to fill a void?


Can Midnight Suns close the gap?

Saints Row at the end of August would fit as well as Marvel’s Midnight Suns. October’s Gotham Knights would be a premium game, but feels less likely (and it’s also a game that wouldn’t surprise me if I delayed it – no inside info, just general pessimism about release dates). I’m not very hopeful of any of those coming to Game Pass, and then the rest of the release schedule is pretty barren. It’ll fill in for sure, but it’s unlikely Microsoft could pull much into the Game Pass crease.

I’m a card-carrying Game Pass fan, and for me there will be plenty of games that make the sub worthwhile. But for a subscription service like Netflix and Disney+, most people are always looking for the big new thing to hit the ground running. Hopefully in a month or so I’ll be looking back at this article and saying, “What a stupid man you were,” given a string of announcements at the Xbox and Bethesda Showcase, but for now, the year ahead looks less spectacular than a service like Game Pass must be. Does Xbox have a Game Pass gap to fill, or doesn’t Starfield lag matter?

Fry Electronics Team

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