GameStop ‘Game Pass’ Typo Sends Xbox Fans Into a Panic


Recently, news that suggested Microsoft plans to push Xbox-exclusive titles onto competing platforms caused Xbox fans the world over to suffer from a collective burst of dismay and outrage. It saw some sizeable Xbox personalities take to social media to announce their ‘abandonment’ of Team Green and prompted Phil Spencer to announce a business update scheduled for next week, which should help clear the air.

However, another stab of panic was dealt suddenly by GameStop hours ago, with the retailer uploading a banner to its website that mentioned ‘Microsoft Game Pass’. It was a typo that has since been corrected to read ‘Xbox Game Pass’, but it was enough to send some gamers over the edge.

Let’s Calm Down

It was awful timing from GameStop, with the North American video games retailer revealing ‘approved branding’ containing the term ‘Microsoft Game Pass’. Immediately, it looked like Microsoft was stripping the Xbox name from the subscription service, perhaps preparing to – somehow – make it multi-platform and accessible to competitors.

Since images of this blunder hit social media, GameStop has amended the banner to rightfully read ‘Xbox Game Pass’, but hasn’t offered anything in the way of an apology or an explanation. That alone has prompted some Xbox fans to believe that a reveal is still on the way and GameStop simply ‘jumped the gun’ with the announcement.

If it wasn’t enough that Xbox gamers are mourning the potential loss of their exclusive franchises and the downfall of their hardware, GameStop almost had them flying off the handle about their top-tier subscription service that they cherish.

For more Insider Gaming coverage, check out the news that US gamers spent $57 billion on games in 2023

  1. IMO gamers who are “flying off the handle” about *any* of this, regardless of whether this specific incident was Gamestop jumping the gun or a typo, really don’t get it. Microsoft is a business. As their multiple rounds of layoffs illustrate, they and their shareholders care about $$$$. That’s always been the case and always will be.

    If Microsoft could somehow get GamePass on to PS5 in a way that makes financial sense for them they’d do it in a heartbeat. The real question is, does doing business with Microsoft make sense for Sony? I’m really not sure where Nintendo might stand on this at all. They’re different for many reasons.

    Since Microsoft’s already committed to keeping COD multiplatform for at least the next decade as part of their effort to get regulators in the US and UK to approve their aquisition of Acitvision Blizzard, IMO the only way GamePass appearing on Sony consoles might make sense for both sides is if the deal includes Halo going multiplatform. I’m not sure if Gears alone would do it.

    As an owner of the last three XBox consoles, the only thing that bothers me is I didn’t see this coming sooner. If I had, I would have purchased a PS5 so I could play a couple of the exclusives on that console that haven’t been ported to PC. In that sense, I get why XBox owners aren’t happy. IMO it’s been years since XBox had a truly “great” exclusive lineup in the first place, and now it appears like Microsoft’s making a gamer’s financial investment in the Series X/S feel like even more of a bad decision.

  2. One more thing I wanted to say.

    I think too many people are focusing on Phil and XBox leadership. XBox isn’t its own company! Phil has bosses, and some of them don’t believe that Microsoft should be in the gaming business, certainly not the gaming hardware business, at all. Microsoft’s made some bad bets as a company over the past few years. (Remember HaloLens and Microsoft’s bet on miixed reality?) They’re currently investing heavily in AI. The $$ to do that has to come from somewhere.

    Also, IMO the company as a whole isn’t great at messaging. Back in early 2022, *everybody* in the business/tech world reported that HaloLens 3 had been scrapped and the company’s mixed reality “vision” was completely dead. Their public statements said the opposite, and there were (again reportedly) still ongoing discussions/debates within the company. They still haven’t publicly completely and utterly killed that program off. I have zero doubt those type discussions/debates are going on within the gaming division, aka XBox. There’s almost certainly a faction that doesn’t want to exit the console/hardware market. That’s likely why we see this “case by case” slow drip.

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