Big Game Pass price hikes for South Africa

Microsoft has announced sweeping price hikes for its Game Pass subscriptions worldwide, with Ultimate subscribers in South Africa set to be hit by a R70 price increase.

The hikes follow Game Pass price increases in 2023, and the latest price changes will take effect on 12 September 2024.

For South African subscribers, the subscription fee for PC Game Pass will increase from R79 to R119 per month, while those on the top-tier Ultimate plan will see prices rise from R129 to R199.

This Ultimate price hike represents an increase of over 50%.

Those on the annually-billed Game Pass Core plan will see their fee increase from R479 to R799.

In South Africa, the GamePass Core plan is also available on a monthly, three-monthly, and six-monthly plan. The price increases for these plans are as follows:

  • Game Pass Core (1 Month) — rising from R79 to R99
  • Game Pass Core (3 Month) — rising from R199 to R249
  • Game Pass Core (6 Month) — rising from R319 to R399

However, Microsoft specifies that the price hikes taking effect in September 2024 only apply to new subscribers.

Microsoft will also launch a Standard Game Pass subscription that doesn’t offer day-one access to first-party Xbox games.

However, it hasn’t specified South African pricing for the new subscription tier in its new pricing list. When available, users in the US can subscribe for $14.99 (R271) per month.

Microsoft will also remove the Game Pass Console option for new subscribers.

“If you are currently subscribed to Xbox Game Pass for Console and have automatic payment renewal enabled, you will be able to continue to enjoy your membership,” it said.

“If at any time you turn off your automatic payment renewal and your membership lapses, you will no longer have access to Game Pass for Console and will need to join one of the other plans we offer for Game Pass.”

The Standard subscription includes online console multiplayer access — something that Xbox Game Pass for Console lacked.

The price hikes in September 2024 follows increases applied by Microsoft in June 2023.

Game Pass Ultimate subscribers were hit with a R10 price hike from R119 to R129 — an increase of 7.75%.

Game Pass for PC received no increase and remained at the price of R79 per month.

Microsoft’s 2023 Game Pass price adjustments took effect on 6 July for new subscribers and 13 August for existing members.

If the company follows a similar approach this year to what it did in 2023, existing Game Pass Customers will likely be slapped with a price hike later on in the year.

Game Pass provides members access to an extensive library of games, which they can play as long as the subscription is active.

The Game Pass Core subscription was first introduced in South Africa in 2017 and priced at R159 per month.

Game Pass Ultimate was first introduced in 2019 and included the same benefits as an Xbox Live Gold subscription for R200 per month.

Microsoft later dropped the price to R149, while reducing the cost of the base and PC Game Pass subscriptions to R99 per month.

The company lowered the prices by over 20% in March 2022.

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Big Game Pass price hikes for South Africa