Microsoft swallowed up all of Tuesday’s attention with their plan to buy Activision Blizzard for $69 billion, drowning out even good news of their own. Along with surprise, concern, and bafflement, yesterday brought Game Pass news. Yes yes they do plan to add Actiblizz games to Game Pass while they can, but there’s more: 1) the service now has over 25 million subscribers across PC and Xbox; 2) cult classic Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc is now on Game Pass. You know, the one with the weird bear and the murdergames.
Along with those 69 bees, Microsoft boasted about the 25 emms in the big announcement, casually mentioning that “Game Pass now has more than 25 million subscribers”. Big number, but not a surprising one given how much of a bargain it is.
That’s where they also announced that once the Actiblizz deal is settled (expected by June 2023, if shareholders and regulatory authorities approve), they plan to “offer as many Activision Blizzard games as we can within Xbox Game Pass and PC Game Pass”, both new and old. But that’s the vague future.
What’s concrete is that Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc is on Game Pass right now, dropping in yesterday as a ‘surprise’ a few short hours after the news leaked. It’s about schoolchildren trapped in a murderous game, and trying to solve the many murders as well as the wider mysteries of the game. I realise its vibe is instantly offputting to some but we’ve declared it one of the best visual novels and raved about the series so it is worth a look if you’re on Game Pass.
Yesterday also brought the wholly expected launch of Nobody Saves The World, arriving on Game Pass the same day it goes on sale. Made by Guacamelee developers Drinkbox Studios, it’s a colourful action-RPG where you can shapeshift into all sorts of weird forms with weird abilities. Our Ed’s Nobody Saves The World review said it has some charming characters and the transforming is clever, but the whole thing becomes repetitive.
With everyone Microsoft are swallowing up as part of The Great Consolidation Of The Games Industry, Games Pass is getting better and better for subscribers. But I am growing more concerned about the knock-on effects of that, when that one service gives access to so much, what that will mean for variety. Alice Bee can explain more of concerns around Microsoft buying Activision Blizzard.