Good Reason NOT to Renew Game Pass Ultimate

By Todd Russell Jun10,2024

Face it, we have a lot of gaming options in 2024: PC, consoles, pinball (real and virtual), board games offline and online (REVIEW: Board Games Arena – Play Hundreds of Board Games Online Against Others for FREE), arcades/barcades, home multicades, mobile games — yikes, the list goes on!

Too many options for any single gamer to play everything. Focus becomes the key for the current generation gamer. And for the Play Games More gamer, it’s not about quantity, it’s about quality: playing one or more games to improve skill level.

Don’t get me wrong, finding those gem games, the ones you want to spend that level of time playing does require some amount of filtering. Whether one chooses reviews from friends, trusted publications (hopefully, PGM is one of them) or whatever other means, it’s vital to single out those games.

With that, this year, I’m focusing on playing games I already have. It started with the PC and a goal to play — at least a little bit — every UNplayed PC game (see: 2024 Resolution: Play ALL My Unplayed PC Games + How To Create Dynamic Unplayed Steam Collection).

As of this writing, progress on this is going well, by playing nearly 100 games in the first month of 2024 alone. On the not good side, I’ve learned that about 10% of the UNplayed PC games owned are ones I want to play more. Apparently, I’ve been buying and/or acquiring free games at a pace far outside my interest level.

This brings me back to cloud streaming game services like Game Pass Ultimate. It’s the game equivalent of a buffet. Do you enjoy eating everything at a buffet? Of course not.

I had a subscription for the last two years to Microsoft’s Xbox Game Pass Ultimate service. It’s a good streaming gaming service which helped me decide which games I might want to play more, frequently added more game, including new games that I was interested in checking out like Starfield (see: Where/When/If You Will Be Playing Starfield Launching Wednesday 9/6/2023?).

But I chose not to renew when my two year paid subscription ended on Valentine’s Day 2024.

Firstly, before readers get too fired up: I’ll be back!

I’ll be back!

Yes, I will resubscribe at some point in the future. Probably sooner than later. The service is too good to ignore forever. So put down the sharp-edged weapons and torches, this article isn’t about trashing a good cloud gaming streaming service.

Secondly, I won’t have to pay for this service. when I do resubscribe. Why not? Because I have amassed roughly 350,000 Microsoft Rewards points and can use those to “pay” for a monthly subscription. I’m also still doing the Rewards program, although much less regularly than I once was (Is Microsoft Intentionally Reducing Ways To Gain Points, While Increasing The Rewards Costs of Items Like Game Pass?).

So, why not stay renewed if it’s essentially costing me nothing?

The games buffet.

Just too many games to choose from that I don’t have time to play right now. Too many choices and likely a small percentage that I will actually have time to play. Just doesn’t fit my time schedule allotted for gaming at the moment. That will change once I clear the cobwebs from my Steam, Epic Games Store and other game libraries unplayed lists.

How many other gamers have too many games to play right now? Certainly, I’m not in the minority on this. It’s not a complaint, but more a sobering reality.

Forgive me, fellow gamer readers, friends and family. I’m getting caught up with the backlog. It will take some time to catch up, to decide which games already owned that I really want to play (see: 2024 Resolution: Play ALL My Unplayed PC Games + How To Create Dynamic Unplayed Steam Collection). Maybe the entire year, maybe more than one year. But when the backlog is gone, I’m hoping going forward to be pickier about the games I buy/try.

Above: progress on spreadsheet tracking unplayed PC games in 2024

Hoping to become more selective in hitting that “add to library” even if the game is “free.” Just because a game is free is no guarantee we like playing it. Free might mean, in fact, being less likely to enjoy playing it. What gamer needs games like that?

It’s good to have gaming-related goals. In 2024, my goal is simple and feels attainable. Hopefully, when this is over, I’ll have learned better to analyze and decide what games to add to the library and which to say, “no thanks.” How good is your game selection process?

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2 thoughts on “Good Reason NOT to Renew Game Pass Ultimate”
  1. I can see game pass being somewhat useful, but how many are actually getting their money’s worth. Take a game like Diablo IV or MLB the show. $50+ games. Both are lengthy games that, for someone with limited game time, can take months (baseball seasons aren’t exactly short) to complete. After 3-4 months, you could have bought either game. Are you playing other games during that time? If you don’t play at all, have you wasted your money? There are only so many hours in a month and only so much time for gaming. While game pass let’s you try a “bite” out of a bunch of games for little $$, when you find that game that hooks you, in feel you are losing out/wasting $$. Like keeping Netflix for 1 show, but it takes you 2-3 months to watch it.

  2. Hi Todd!

    Modern games bore me unless theyre remakes of classic arcade, beat-em ups or original games. I’m playing a new Diablo 2 Resurrected Mod called Remodded. It adds new character skills, better item optimization between the different gear types. I’m also into the new pinball tables were gettng for Pinball M and FX. it’s a good time for gaming.

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