Microsoft has taken steps to expand the Xbox brand beyond their home console offerings with the Xbox Game Pass subscription service, which gives Xbox One and PC gamers unlimited access to a growing library of games for one price. The company is taking things a step further with the Xbox Game Pass for PC, a new subscription with a larger pool of PC gamers to play. Also, in addition to Halo: The Master Chief Collection launching on Steam later this year, Microsoft is launching Gears of War 5 and the definitive edition of all three Age of Empires games on Steam.
With the original Xbox Game Pass, subscribers had access to Xbox One and PC games. All of the titles in the library were available on Xbox One and a very limited selection including titles like State of Decay 2 and Forza Horizon 4 are playable on PC. The new Xbox Game Pass for PC will provide an experience better designed for PC gamers, including over 100 PC games on Windows 10.
In addition to news of this new Xbox Game Pass, Microsoft is furthering the relationship with PC gamers by bringing Gears of War 5 and the definitive editions of the Age of Empires series to Steam. Age of Empires 2 and 3 are both already on Steam, but the definitive edition of the first game was previously only available on the Microsoft store. Age of Empires: Definitive Edition overhauls the game with remastered visuals, sound, music, and UI. The versions for the sequels should provide similar improvements.
Beyond Age of Empires and Gears of War 5, specific titles for the new Xbox Game Pass weren’t named. The company did mention developers and publishers like Bethesda, Deep Silver, Devolver Digital, Paradox Interactive, and Sega as providers of some of the games coming to the subscription. The team also mentioned plans to continue the original Game Pass’ inclusion of new games on launch day, specifically noting Microsoft’s newly-acquired studios Obsidian and inXile. Obsidian is currently working on the sci-fi RPG The Outer Worlds, though that title is being published by Private Division and may not be included in the Xbox Game Pass. InXile is currently working on the crowd-funded Wasteland 3. Gears of War 5 is expected to release sometime this year.