Illustration for article titled Players Say Xbox Game Pass Glitch Is Stopping Them From Playing Some Games [UPDATE]
Photo: Marco Verch (Flickr)

Xbox Game Pass is supposed to enable Xbox owners to play more games, not less. Unfortunately, over the last few days, some Xbox One owners have reported being unable to play certain games they own due to an error with Game Pass, a problem Microsoft has confirmed it’s looking into.

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Xbox Game Pass is a monthly program that lets subscribers install and play various games from the console’s library. It’s like PlayStation Plus, except the games don’t switch out each month. For $10 a month you could play Gears of War 4, Resident Evil 6, and 166 other games. However, three players have shared stories about being unable to start games they actually own outright if those games happen to also be included in Game Pass while they aren’t subscribed.

[Update - 7:55pm] A new statement from a Microsoft spokesperson says the issue has so far only affected one person:

“We have confirmed that this is an isolated incident and are working directly with the affected user to resolve.”

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Original story follows.

A user who goes by nerdaftermathfx posted their experience on Reddit of being unable to play Rise of the Tomb Raider despite having a physical disc. “I keep getting a message telling me to renew my game pass,” they wrote. “Funny thing is I dont have game pass. Never have.” They said they tried resetting the console and uninstalling and reinstalling the game, but still got the same error message. Trying to disconnect the console from the internet and play offline didn’t work either, according to them, as the Xbox One kept telling them it needed to connect to Xbox live in order for them to proceed. They emailed Kotaku a photo of the error they keep getting.

Illustration for article titled Players Say Xbox Game Pass Glitch Is Stopping Them From Playing Some Games [UPDATE]

Another user, RodCCL, reported the same issue with Halo 5. They did have Game Pass at one time, but let it expire a few weeks ago. Despite having a physical disc, they too kept getting the “Please renew your Game Pass” message every time they tried to play the game. Resetting, reinstalling, and trying to play offline didn’t work for them either. “If I try to install the game while being offline, I get the error ‘0x8b050066,’” RodCCL wrote.

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Other players reported anecdotally having similar issues throughout the thread, including one person trying to play Mad Max, another game currently in the Game Pass library.

Microsoft says a fix is coming. “We’re committed to ensuring customers have access to games they have acquired,” an Xbox rep told Kotaku in an email. “We’re aware of the claims and working to validate and resolve.”

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So far Microsoft hasn’t elaborated on what’s causing the issue, exactly how widespread it is, or whether there are any existing workarounds. In one of the Reddit threads on the topic, Major Nelson, director of programming for Xbox Live, said the right teams inside Microsoft were investigating the problem, but couldn’t share any more information at this time.

In January, Microsoft announced that Game Pass would feature some first-party games on release day, including Sea of Thieves, which releases next week on March 20.

Kotaku staff writer. You can reach him at ethan.gach@kotaku.com

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DISCUSSION

Somewhat off topic rant: I really, really, really, hate the Xbox One. Not the controller, not the hardware, but the software.

I recently borrowed Gears of War 4 from a coworker to try out. I pop in the disc to start making dinner. Too bad. Game hasn’t even started installing because there was a pop up about needing to download an update for the game. So I tell it to download the update. Game refuses to install from disc while downloading the 40+ GB update.

What’s this, though? 3 other games have updates, so the system fails to give the game I just stuck in priority in the download/install queue? Let me pause those real quick (didn’t check this initially, so time wasted there).

I went about my business, letting it do its thing, and then went to check on the progress. System had powered off because of how long it had been. I turn it back on, only to watch it start over again on the download, despite having already moved past that step and installed partially from the disc.

I finally get to a point where the game says I can play it while still installing. I get to the game’s main menu. Everything’s greyed out, even “Settings”. I can’t do anything but look at the menu options I may get to use in the future. So I exit, and go to check on the install process ONLY TO FIND IT HAS PAUSED ALL INSTALLATION AND DOWNLOADS BECAUSE I WAS IN THE GAME.

From the moment of popping the disc in, it was 3-4 hours before I could play the game because the system requires you to babysit the automated install process.

And the big surprise is no one has to do this on the PS4. Games install off their discs automatically with no prompts, all while downloading updates in the background (with no prompts!). (You can even start playing a game—offline—before the patch has finished downloading/installing. And installation on the PS4's slower BD drive is somehow FASTER than the Xbox One. How?)

Seriously, though, how do people continue to put up with the Xbox One’s bullshit? The 360 was never this bad!