For years, Microsoft employees have enjoyed a perk that gives them free subscriptions to Game Pass Ultimate, and that benefit was on track to be discontinued until Xbox boss Phil Spencer stepped in and saved the day.
Per The Verge, Microsoft's original plan was to remove the benefit from most of its 238,000 employees' compensation packages in January. Naturally, employees were quick to express their disappointment in the decision, and at some point Spencer reportedly became personally involved. Now, Spencer has confirmed that the decision to remove the perk has been reversed.
"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," Spencer said in an internal message to Microsoft employees. "I appreciate the time to get up to speed and sorry for the questions and confusion created. And thanks for supporting Xbox."
While it's unclear precisely how much Spencer's involvement influenced Microsoft's decision, the Xbox boss is generally being hailed as the savior of so many employees' Game Pass bonus. Personally, I'm hesitant to fawn over an executive leader at one of the world's largest corporations that's currently acquiring smaller but still huge businesses at an alarming rate, but this indeed sounds like a good move by Spencer.
You get the vibe. It's not often a major corporation pulls a full 180 on a business decision for the benefit of its employees, and amid brutal layoffs at several prominent gaming companies, it's just nice to see something unequivocally good happen. Granted, this wouldn't have transpired if Microsoft hadn't planned to take away a popular employee benefit in the first place, but sometimes you have to take what you can get.
Now all of Microsoft's employees can get on with playing the best games on Game Pass without interruption.