Microsoft was planning to remove a 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 Verge reported yesterday that Microsoft employees had expressed objections about the Xbox Game Pass Ultimate benefit being removed in 2024, with Xbox chief Phil Spencer personally looking into the situation.
Spencer has now confirmed that the decision will be reversed and that Microsoft employees will keep the Xbox Game Pass Ultimate benefit. Here’s Spencer’s full message to Microsoft employees on the company’s internal Viva platform:
After looking into this more with the team, I just want to confirm that no change will be made to Game Pass availability in 2024. If you have access to the Game Pass offer today you will continue to have access. I appreciate the time to get up to speed and sorry for the questions and confusion created. And thanks for supporting Xbox.
The reversal means Microsoft employees continue to have free access to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, which they’ve had since the subscription option launched in 2019. Microsoft employees have long enjoyed access to Xbox subscriptions, free of charge, with Xbox Live Gold previously available as a benefit to employees for years.
It’s not immediately clear why Microsoft had initially decided to remove the benefit, but it appears to be more of a benefits / HR decision since Spencer wasn’t aware it was planned and quickly moved to reverse the change.