A loophole that allowed EA Play users to receive a heavily discounted subscription to Xbox Game Pass has been closed by Microsoft. EA Play is a subscription service which offers access to a library of games published by Electronic Arts, such as the Battlefield and Madden NFL series. Xbox Game Pass is another subscription service, released by Microsoft and available on the Xbox line of consoles, which grants access to a vast rotating catalog of games from a variety of publishers.
In November 2020 Electronic Arts and Microsoft teamed up, creating a deal which grants Xbox Game Pass Ultimate members free access to EA Play. This partnership makes a subscription to Game Pass Ultimate, which includes additional perks for an additional price, incredibly valuable for gamers who want access to a huge collection of digital games. The subscription includes a large number of older titles, but new releases such as Velan Studios’ dodgeball-inspired brawler Knockout City are also frequently added to the services at launch.
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A recent report by IGN reveals that Microsoft has made changes that prevent a well-known way to acquire a discounted Xbox Game Pass subscription. The now-defunct loophole allowed gamers to purchase a one-year membership to EA Play for $30, which would then convert to four months of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate. This deal could also be stacked, meaning gamers could acquire one year of Game Pass Ultimate for $90 when the service usually costs $180 per year. Microsoft has sadly closed this loophole by making one year of EA Play convert into only 2 months of Game Pass Ultimate, meaning that using the conversion method will not save any money on a full year subscription.
While the removal of the half-price Xbox Game Pass Ultimate discount is disheartening, the service still has a ton to offer Xbox users. Both Game Pass and EA Play were recently upgraded with boosted frames per second, giving some of the titles available on both services greatly improved performance. The feature, called Xbox FPS Boost, pushes older titles such as Plants Vs. Zombies to run at an increased framerate in order to increase immersion and performance. Further adding to the value of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate is a recent rumor which claims that the service may soon include a subscription to the audio streaming service Spotify. The supposed leak, coming from a leaked advertisement, suggests that Xbox Game Pass subscribers would receive a free Spotify Premium subscription.
While the Xbox Game Pass loophole was great for fans of the service, it is within Microsoft’s best interests to eliminate the exploit. The option to receive the service at half price likely led to substantial losses for the gaming juggernaut, and reducing the EA Play conversion rate from four months to two was a simple and effective solution. $180 for one year of Xbox Game Pass may be a steep price, but the subscription does include EA Play along with an entire library of additional titles.
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