Outriders highlights one major problem with Xbox Game Pass
Which versions of Xbox Game Pass is Outriders on?
Outriders is one of Xbox Game Pass’ most important additions yet.
It’s not only a major game coming to the Netflix-for-games subscription service, but Outriders is on Game Pass day one. It’s uncommon for AAA games that aren’t developed by a Microsoft studio. If the demo wasn’t enough to convince of that the game was worthwhile (though it was a lot of fun), you still have a chance to try the whole thing out without buying it.
Xbox Game Pass is getting more complicated as time goes on, with games being split between console, PC, and cloud versions of the service. And Outriders is one of those cases. It launched on Xbox One, Xbox Series X, and Xbox Series S.
Will Outriders be on the PC version of Xbox Game Pass? The answer is not so simple.
Is Outriders on Xbox Game Pass for PC?
Outriders is not on Xbox Game Pass for PC at launch. When it was announced in mid-March that it was coming to Game Pass, Outriders was only listed for Xbox Game Pass via console and cloud. Microsoft reiterated this on Twitter that same day, confirming to a fan that it would not be on Xbox Game Pass for PC day one.
If you have Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, you can only try Outriders on Xbox One, Xbox Series X, and Xbox Series S or stream it from the cloud on Android.
While the door is wide open for Outriders to come to the PC version of Game Pass, it isn’t on there right now. Square Enix and Microsoft have not officially commented on why that’s the case. Still, this move makes sense given that Outriders is sold on Steam and the Epic Games Store.
Xbox Game Pass is distinct from those popular PC storefronts, so making it a Game Pass title on the Windows store could cannibalize Outriders' sales on Steam and Epic Games Store. Meanwhile, Square Enix is only digitally selling games through Microsoft on Xbox consoles, so it makes a lot more sense to put it on Xbox Game Pass there.
If more multiplatform AAA games like Outriders start popping up on Xbox Game Pass, this could become a more frequent issue as developers and publishers will probably still want to sell their games on other PC storefronts. It exposes the one major issue with Xbox Game Pass: The game library isn’t unified across all three versions of the platform.
Games like Outriders and Fallout: New Vegas remain console exclusive, while others like Battletech and Crusader Kings III are only available on PC. It can be a bit confusing to wrap your head around what exists where. Know that for now, Outriders is only available on Xbox Game Pass for console and cloud, and there’s no telling if or when that might change.
Outriders is available now for PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X, and Stadia.