Update [Sat 4th Nov, 2023 11:00 GMT]:
Microsoft is now reportedly "reversing" the decision to remove a free Xbox Game Pass Ultimate employee benefit after complaints (via The Verge).
Phil Spencer investigated the situation himself and issued the following update to all employees via the company's internal messaging platform. It confirms how "no change will be made" in 2024:
"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."
If we hear any other updates, we'll let you know, but it seems Phil Spencer has resolved the matter.
Original article [Fri 3rd Nov, 2023 02:00 GMT]:
A new scoop from The Verge has revealed Microsoft employees will no longer receive the company's "free Xbox Game Pass Ultimate benefit".
According to the source, "most" of Microsoft's 238,000 employees will be impacted and this offer will apparently no longer be available to them as of January 2024.
Xbox and Microsoft Gaming employees will still get this deal but regular Microsoft employees will now only have access to a discounted 12 month Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscription via the company's internal store.
Some employees reportedly voiced their concerns on Microsoft's internal messaging platform. Phil Spencer apparently wasn't aware, and will supposedly be investigating the situation.
This internal change follows on from Xbox's replacement of Xbox Live Gold for Xbox Game Pass Core in September.