Inside Xbox kicks off one of the world’s largest video game shows with a live broadcast direct from Cologne, Germany on Tuesday, August 21 at 7:30 a.m. PDT/10:30 a.m. EDT on MixerTwitchYouTubeFacebook, and Twitter.

Our gamescom content will include the latest on Forza Horizon 4Sea of Thieves, and State of Decay 2, plus breaking news, exclusive interviews and never-before-seen content for many other games.

Stay tuned @Xbox on Twitter and here on Xbox Wire for the latest Inside Xbox: Live @ gamescom news, and mark August 21 on your calendar so you don’t miss out!

 

Ashley Speicher, Head of Engineering for Xbox Game Pass, shares some thoughts on the one year anniversary of Xbox One Game Pass.

It’s been one year since we launched Xbox Game Pass, a monthly membership built for gamers. From the very outset, our goal with Xbox Game Pass has been to provide you with more value and choice by delivering a diverse library of games reflective of the long history of Xbox, as well as create new opportunities for our industry partners that make a positive impact. Thanks to you, this last year has been remarkable – we’ve been humbled by your enthusiasm and support.

Over the last year, we’ve achieved several important milestones based on feedback from our fans. We heard from around the world that you wanted Xbox Game Pass, so we expanded and now support 40 markets across the globe. You also told us your number one must-have feature was to have more AAA blockbuster titles available. In response, we announced in January that going forward, we plan to release all new Xbox games from Microsoft Studios into Xbox Game Pass the same day as their global launch, including new iterations of future unannounced games from some of our biggest franchises such as Halo, Forza and Gears of War.

So, how is Game Pass creating new opportunities for both gamers and developers? In its first year, Xbox Game Pass has proven to be great for both gamers and game developers as an additive means to drive discovery and engagement of games. The freedom to explore and play more great games is changing gaming habits in incredibly positive ways.

After joining Xbox Game Pass, Game Pass members are playing more games than ever before — not only games in the Game Pass catalog, but also other Xbox games outside the catalog. As a result, we’re seeing more active players for games across the board, which is having a notable positive impact for our publishers and developers, including increased sales for games in Xbox Game Pass.

Xbox Game Pass is also creating bigger player communities, more buzz and excitement, and longer lifespan for games that enables our partners to drive more business opportunity. For example, in March, Sea of Thieves marked the first Xbox title to release into Xbox Game Pass timed with its global release, which contributed to a thriving Sea of Thieves community that saw more than 2 million players within its first week of release. And building on this momentum, in May, we made the second Xbox exclusive title from Microsoft Studios available to Xbox Game Pass members with the release of State of Decay 2 on May 22. The response from our community has been extremely positive, contributing to the over one million players across the globe playing and creating their own zombie survival story. In addition to our first-party portfolio, we’ve continued to add a variety of new titles for you to explore and enjoy every month, so you always have something new to play. We’ve seen an incredible community response to newer titles in the catalog such as Pro Evolution Soccer 18, theHunter: Call of the Wild and Clustertruck and can’t wait to bring you more popular titles in the year ahead.

It’s also been exciting to see titles in Xbox Game Pass experience revived gaming communities across a variety of genres and franchises. Games in Xbox Game Pass have a longer tail of engagement, sustain their community and help developers connect with new audiences than before. What’s more, those same community members often go on to then try the next major release from those franchises thanks to being introduced to new genres and content they may not have otherwise explored, simply by having unlimited access through the Xbox Game Pass catalog.

We have a long-term commitment and belief in making subscriptions a model that benefits gamers with more choice and game creators with more opportunity. We will continue to invest in this space. We look forward to further evolving Xbox Game Pass by bringing even more great games in the year ahead to continue to meet the needs of gamers and game developers.

 

Product Info:
Developer: Undead Labs
Publisher: Microsoft Studios
Website:  State of Decay 2
Twitter: @undeadlabs / @StateOfDecay

NOTE: State of Decay 2: Ultimate Edition includes early access – play State of Decay 2 four days early before the game’s standard release date

Product Info:
Developer: Undead Labs
Publisher: Microsoft Studios
Website:  State of Decay 2
Twitter: @undeadlabs / @StateOfDecay

Larry Hryb @majornelson

More @majornelson on Twitter

Tina Summerford, Director of Programming at Xbox, shares details on Episode 3 of Inside Xbox.

Inside Xbox, Episode 3 will debut on May 17 at 6:30PM EDT/3:30PM PDT. This month’s episode will feature five hotly anticipated games, including breaking news, new feature announcements, exclusive gameplay and much more. We’re keeping most of those under wraps for now so as not to ruin the surprise.

Of course, center stage for our May episode will be the Xbox exclusive zombie apocalypse survival game State of Decay 2, which launches globally on May 22nd. State of Decay 2 asks one question not easily answered. How will you survive? We’ll go in-depth on the world simulation that powers the game, showcasing how the emergent gameplay is brought to life, creating distinct stories, agonizing choices, and dynamic communities unique to every player.

We’ll also have a live community Q&A with developers on-stage, so don’t forget to send your burning questions to #InsideXbox on Twitter.

And finally, we’re having a bit of survival fun, with a grueling and epic Escape Room experience inspired by State of Decay, starring our friends from Smosh Games, as well as Leahviathan, MrRoflWaffles, MrDalekJD, and Xbox On’s Benny and Sam. Who will survive? Tune-in to find out!

That scratches just the surface of episode 3, and we can’t wait to reveal much more live, next Thursday, May 17th at 6:30PM EDT/3:30PM PDT on Inside Xbox. You can tune-in on Mixer.com/Xbox, Twitch.tv/Xbox, Facebook.com/Xbox, and Twitter.com/Xbox.

For more information about Inside Xbox, check out Xbox Wire.

Mike Nichols, CMO for Gaming at Microsoft, shares some details about Xbox and the road to E3.

The passionate community of gamers on Xbox are our inspiration. As we get ready to share a fantastic lineup of new games for Xbox players at E3 2018, we want to take a moment to thank them for a record-setting start to the year.

Today, we’re witnessing a record-setting number of players, playing at record levels, and engaging in new ways. Xbox Live players are up 13 percent and Xbox One sales are up 15 percent over the same period last year, but that’s not all. We’ve seen more than 600,000 friendships forged with the Looking For Group feature and there are now more than 1.2 million Clubs on Xbox Live.

We’re seeing tremendous engagement of mega-hits like Fortnite and Far Cry 5, both of which play best in 4K Ultra HD on Xbox One X, joining the more than 200 games that now feature Xbox One X enhancements. But we’re also seeing fantastic engagement with Xbox One console exclusives like Sea of Thieves, the fastest-selling Microsoft Studios new IP of this console generation, and PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, whose new desert-themed map is now available to play on a dedicated test server ahead of its launch in Xbox Game Preview later in May. We also reached a couple milestones recently with players having enjoyed over 4 billion hours on games released through our ID@Xbox program and nearly 1 billion hours on games in our Xbox One Backward Compatibility library.

Xbox Game Pass has been a great contributor to growth in players and engagement. With over 100 great games available for one low monthly price and new games added every month, including new games from Microsoft Studios the same day as their global release, Xbox Game Pass is all about introducing you to new genres, franchises, and games. It’s been incredible to see the growth in the service and the growth of engagement in franchises made available in Xbox Game Pass. We’re next looking forward to bringing State of Decay 2 to Xbox Game Pass members on May 22nd, the same day as its global release, as we continue to work to deliver the ultimate gaming membership for our fans.

It’s also been amazing to see what the passionate Mixer community has achieved in such a short period of time. Late last year, Mixer exceeded more than 10 million active users in a month for the first time – a milestone we’ve since eclipsed, and then some, each month to start 2018. HypeZone channels for Fortnite and PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds are now among the most popular on Mixer, introducing you to a range of streamers in the midst of the most intense Battle Royale moments. Creative new channels have been started for game developers sharing their work-in-progress games, as well as cooking, music, and art, as just a few examples. Mixer will continue to grow thanks to you all, staying true to remaining a positive and fun space for gamers, streamers, and viewers.

It’s a great time to be a gamer and to be a part of Team Xbox. We’re hard at work on exciting plans for E3, from what will be a great briefing filled with new games to the fan experience at the Microsoft Theater. This is our biggest E3 yet, and we look forward to a great week for gamers. Again, thank you to the amazing Xbox community.

 

Content: State of Decay 2 
Check pre-order price and availability in your Xbox LIVE region

Game Description: You may pre-download this game, but it will not be playable until release date (05/22/2018 – 11:00 AM).

State of Decay 2 is a community-centered survival-fantasy game, set in a zombie apocalypse. You control a unique group of survivors, deciding on the best strategies to keep these characters alive while improving their skills and gathering the resources they need. You choose where to make your stand, designing and fortifying your home base just the way you want it. You choose which of your survivors to put at risk performing daring raids for food and ammunition. You choose when to make contact with new survivors (who have their own goals and agendas), and which of these strangers you’ll rescue and recruit to your community.

NOTE: Supports Xbox Play Anywhere: yours to play on both Xbox One and Windows 10 PC at no additional cost.

There are 2 versions of State of Decay 2 available for pre-order –  Click each link for more details or see below.

Xbox One Pre-Order FAQ

State of Decay 2 – This bundle includes the base game and State of Decay 2: Prepper’s Pack.

State of Decay 2 Ultimate Edition – This bundle includes the base game and State of Decay 2: Prepper’s Pack + early access – play State of Decay 2 four days early before the game’s standard release date; State of Decay: Year One Survival Edition (console version); Independence Pack and Daybreak Pack.

Phil Spencer, Head of Gaming at Xbox, discusses a major update to the Xbox Game Pass program. Details below:

When we launched Xbox Game Pass in June 2017, we knew we wanted to craft a service with gamers in mind. That meant a diverse, expanding library of over 100 games and counting, matched with one monthly price and unlimited access to download and play full-fidelity experiences.

We’ve been blown away by the incredible response. Following launch, we heard from fans around the world who wanted Xbox Game Pass in their country. In September, we expanded globally and Xbox Game Pass is now available to fans in 40 countries. We’ve also continued to expand the catalog with new games added to the Xbox Game Pass library every month, so there is always something new to play.

We know our fans value having a variety of games to play at a low monthly price. We’ve also heard from fans that the ability to play new blockbuster games in Xbox Game Pass is important. So we’ve continued to explore new ideas to make this possible.

Today, we’re excited to announce plans for a major expansion to Xbox Game Pass that underscores our commitment to deliver our fans the ultimate gaming subscription service.

Moving forward, we plan to release all new Xbox One exclusive games from Microsoft Studios into Xbox Game Pass on the same date as their global release. This means that when Sea of Thieves launches on March 20, it will be included in Xbox Game Pass to all members.

This plan to bring new games timed with their global release into Xbox Game Pass not only includes announced titles like Sea of Thieves, State of Decay 2, and Crackdown 3 but future unannounced games from Microsoft Studios including new iterations of our biggest Xbox One exclusive franchises such as Halo, Forza and Gears of War, on the same day they launch.

Our fans have also asked for more choice in the subscription offerings available for Xbox Game Pass. As part of today’s library expansion, we are also pleased to announce that we are working closely with our retail partners, such as GameStop, to offer a 6-month Xbox Game Pass subscription card for those fans who look for a variety of ways to purchase and enjoy new games and services. The 6-month Xbox Game Pass subscription card will be available at select retail partners for $59.99 beginning March 20. By working closely with retail partners, Xbox Game Pass will have valuable ambassadors in popular destinations for gamers to discover new and exciting games and enjoy community.

With the addition of more great games, new blockbuster releases and a new subscription offer, we are giving fans more choice and value in how they discover and enjoy games – purchase games for their permanent library or play through Xbox Game Pass for one low price.

We’ve only scratched the surface of the opportunity this new model brings to the industry and what we can deliver to our fans. We firmly believe Xbox Game Pass will be a catalyst to create new opportunities for game developers and publishers to innovate in the way games are developed and delivered, leading to entirely new ways to play.

We’re truly humbled by the incredible response we’ve received to date for Xbox Game Pass, and we look forward to offering an unprecedented choice and value with Xbox Game Pass this spring and beyond.

Phil Spencer
Twitter: @XboxP3
GT: P3