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New to Xbox Game Pass: ‘We Happy Few,’ ‘Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor,’ ‘The LEGO Movie Videogame’ and more

Hi, Xbox Game Pass friends! Don’t want to freak you out, but we turned around today and suddenly there were even more games sitting on our desk. We’re going to need a bigger desk… and you’re going to need some free time, because there’s so many games on the way.

We’re dropping four awesome games in the next two weeks, and you can sign up to get your first month for just $1, so if your crew isn’t already on the Xbox Game Pass hype train, tell them to get on that ASAP.

Now let’s get to some details on our latest games:

We Happy Few (January 17) – Xbox One X Enhanced

A first-person action game set in a retro-futuristic alternate 1960s England. Conformity is key, and a drug called Joy makes everyone’s problems go away – unless, of course, you’re a rotten Downer. Play as a plucky bunch of moderately terrible people trying to escape from a lifetime of cheerful denial in the city of Wellington Wells. You’ll have to fight or blend in with the drug-addled inhabitants, most of whom don’t take kindly to people who won’t abide by their not-so-normal rules.

The LEGO Movie Videogame (January 17)

The LEGO Movie Videogame puts players in the role of Emmet, an ordinary, rules-following, perfectly average LEGO minifigure who is mistakenly identified as the most extraordinary person and the key to saving the world. Based on the humorous and action-packed events from the film, players guide him as he is drafted into a fellowship of strangers on an epic quest to stop an evil tyrant, a journey for which Emmet is hopelessly and hilariously underprepared.  With unexpected moments and twists at every level, gamers will build their way through a uniquely LEGO adventure on their ultimate mission to bring creativity to their LEGO world.

Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor (January 24)

Slain at the Black Gate along with your friends, family, and sworn brothers, the ancient Elven Wraith, Celebrimbor, offered you a chance for revenge. Now you must battle powerful Warchiefs who will gloat over past victories and bear grudges – and scars – from past defeats. Find unlikely allies, battle ferocious creatures, and experience a Middle-earth adventure like no other. Your story will grow and become uniquely your own after each battle, until you stand before the ultimate architect of your downfall – the Black Hand of Sauron himself.

Saints Row: The Third (January 24)

The open world, crazy mayhem, action adventure series returns as you now find yourself trying to protect the Third Street Saints brand name (and its turf). Enter the Syndicate, a global criminal empire who doesn’t take kindly to someone else grabbing all the headlines and attention. Now they expect the Saints to pay tribute and fall in line; that ain’t gonna happen. Take back Steelport – and the Saints’ reputation — by any means necessary.

And, don’t forget that we also dropped Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3 last week.

Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 (January 10)

Take the epic battle to all new heights in 3v3 matches featuring fan-favorite characters from the Marvel and Capcom Universes. This definitive version includes all DLC and modes that made the original a staple in the fighting game genre.

You better get your game on with these gems before we hit you with our next game drop!  Crackdown 3 hits Xbox Game Pass on the day and date of its worldwide release on February 15, plus a bunch more are coming atcha in February and beyond.

Aaaaannnddd finally, ICYMI, the Design Innovate Communicate Entertain (D.I.C.E) Awards nominations include two Xbox Game Pass games: Forza Horizon 4 was nominated for Best Racing Game, and Sea of Thieves was nominated for Online Game of the Year. Congratulations to all D.I.C.E Award nominees, and fire up that console stat to experience Forza Horizon 4 and Sea of Thieves, if you haven’t already.

Join Xbox Game Pass Today

With over 100 great games for one low monthly price, including highly-anticipated new Xbox One exclusives the day they’re released, including the highest-rated* Xbox exclusive of this generation Forza Horizon 4, plus more games added all the time, Xbox Game Pass gives you the ultimate freedom to play. If you haven’t tried Xbox Game Pass, join today and get your first month for $1, and discover your next favorite game.

For the latest Xbox Game Pass news, follow us on Twitter and Instagram, download the Xbox Game Pass app for Android and iOS and keep it tuned here to Xbox Wire. Until next month, game on!

*Source: Metacritic

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Pre-orders begin for Xbox One X Metro Saga Bundle coming Feb. 15

The post-apocalyptic saga that began with Metro 2033 and continued into Metro: Last Light returns to Xbox One this February in Metro Exodus. Debuting today, the story trailer for Metro Exodus teases what’s ahead as you flee the shattered ruins of dead Moscow and embark on an epic, continent-spanning journey to shoot, sneak, and survive in a hostile world.

To equip players for an immersive experience as they trek across the ravaged Russian landscape, we’re announcing the Xbox One X Metro Saga Bundle, which includes full-game downloads of Metro 2033 Redux, Metro: Last Light Redux and Metro Exodus, so you can jump into the haunting tale of humanity’s survival from the very beginning. Enhanced for Xbox One X in 4K Ultra HD and with HDR support, Metro Exodus will take players on a journey through vast sandbox levels packed with apocalyptic creatures across four beautiful but hostile seasons.

Along with full-game downloads of the entire Metro saga, the Xbox One X Metro Saga Bundle includes an Xbox One X console with a 1TB hard drive, an Xbox Wireless Controller and 1-month trials to Xbox Game Pass and Xbox Live Gold.

Embark on the ultimate post-apocalyptic gaming destination when the Xbox One X Metro Saga Bundle arrives on February 15, or pre-order today for $499.99 USD at Microsoft Store or participating retailers.

As part of the Xbox One family of devices, you’ll get access to the only console system that plays the best games of the past, present, and future with more than 1,300 games available today, including over 200 exclusives and over 400 Xbox classics. With the Xbox One X Metro Saga Bundle, you’ll also have features like a built-in 4K UHD Blu-ray player, 4K streaming with High Dynamic Range and Dolby Vision, premium audio with Dolby Atmos and DTS:X support and services unique to the Xbox platform like Xbox Game Pass, Xbox Live and Xbox One Backward Compatibility at your fingertips, making Xbox One the best place to play.

For more information on Xbox One or the Metro saga, visit xbox.com or Microsoft Store, near you or online.

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Countdown Sale: Save on Xbox games, consoles, Xbox Game Pass and more

The Countdown sale officially starts today and now is the perfect opportunity to give thrills with great deals on all things Xbox. Microsoft Store online and Xbox have hundreds of deals for Xbox fans, including savings of up to 65% on select Xbox One and Xbox 360 digital games, discounts on select Xbox consoles and accessories, Xbox Game Pass and Xbox Live Gold each for $1 the first month, as well as deals on select Movies and TV shows, apps for Xbox, and PC games.

There is still time to give thrills with last minute deals on great gifts that you can either buy online and pick it up at a Microsoft Store location near you (US and AU only) or send the gift of digital games and apps from Microsoft Store.

Save on Xbox Digital Games

Xbox Countdown Sale Inline Image

Xbox Countdown Sale Inline Image

Now is the time to take advantage of great discounts and save up to 65% on more than 800 deals between Xbox One and Xbox 360 including new releases like Forza Horizon 4, Call of Duty: Black Ops 4, Red Dead Redemption 2, Battlefield V, smash hit Tom Clancy’s The Division and the award winning Forza Motorsport 7. There also are first-time discounts on Just Cause 4, Hitman 2 and Spyro Reignited Trilogy as well as even deeper discounts on best-selling titles like Rainbow Six Siege. Additionally, there’s a wide selection of discounted family content games, game bundles, and add-on content, plus over 200 Xbox One deals priced at $10 or less.

Don’t forget that Xbox Live Gold members save up to 10 percent more on most deals during the Countdown sale.

Get Your First Month of Xbox Game Pass or Xbox Live Gold for $1

Xbox Game Pass Key Art

Xbox Game Pass Key Art

  • Get your first month of Xbox Game Pass for $1 and enjoy unlimited access to over 100+ games including new first party releases. Sign in to save. Promotional $1 offer not valid for existing members.*
  • Not Gold? Get your first month of Xbox Live Gold for $1 and take advantage of exclusive savings and join the best community of gamers on the most advanced multiplayer network. Sign in to save. Promotional $1 offer not valid for existing members.*

 Save on Xbox Consoles and accessories

  • For a limited time, save $100 on select Xbox One consoles including popular bundles like Battlefield V, Forza Horizon 4, Fallout 76, Fortnite, Minecraft, and more, all starting at $199 (now through 12/25/2018).
  • Receive a digital code redeemable for Gears of War 4 for free ($39.99 MSRP value) with the purchase of any Xbox One S, Xbox One X or Xbox Wireless controller at participating retailers worldwide (digital code emailed 10 days post-purchase; available now through 1/31/2019).
  • Get free engraving when you personalize your Xbox Design Lab controller (now through 12/31/2018).

 Save on popular Movies & TV Shows, Apps, and PC Games

  • Save up to 50% on select hit movies and TV Shows including Avengers: Infinity War and Mission: Impossible Fallout, plus even bigger discounts on a different daily deal Dec. 21 – Dec. 31.
  • Save big top apps for Xbox including Dolby Access, Nitrado, Amazon Music, and more.
  • Save up to 50% on popular PC games including Forza Horizon 4, Sea of Thieves, Age of Empires Definitive Edition, Minecraft Starter Pack, ARK: Survival Evolved, and more.

All of these deals are available on console and online at Microsoft Store and Xbox.com starting today, so take advantage of the great deals before they end on January 3, 2019 (or as otherwise noted above).  Availability and pricing varies by location. May not be combinable with other offers. Other limitations may apply. Not valid on prior orders or purchases. See webpage for each offer’s specific details.

* After promotional period, Xbox Game Pass and Xbox Live Gold subscriptions continue to be charged at the then-current regular monthly price (subject to change) plus applicable taxes, unless cancelled. Credit card required. Xbox Game Pass and Xbox Live Gold offers not valid for existing subscribers; Game catalog varies over time.  Limit: 1 Gold offer and 1 Game Pass offer per account. Valid at Microsoft Store online or in-console in all Xbox Live markets excluding Quebec. Some Xbox Game Pass games also require Xbox Live Gold to play on Xbox (subscription sold separately).

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NFL running back Todd Gurley to play ‘Madden NFL 19’ on Dec. 21 Xbox Live Sessions

Have you ever wanted to see the Los Angeles Rams’ running back Todd Gurley play as himself in the newest Madden? If so, you are in luck! Todd will join the next episode of Xbox Live Sessions on Friday, December 21 at 4 p.m. PST to play Madden NFL 19 on Xbox’s Mixer and YouTube and Twitch channels.

Hosted by artist Trey Smith, Todd will play Madden NFL 19 on Xbox One X. Tune in to see him achieve gridiron greatness by training his favorite players to build his ultimate team dynasty. Who will he select to be on his team? What does he think of his in-game character? There’s only one way to find out! You might also pick up some tips and tricks on how to win against your friends or family over the holidays.

Madden NFL 19 gives you game-changing control on and off the field and enhanced by Real Player Motion by delivering you gameplay control with precision and intent. Create and share custom Draft Classes, design your game strategy, progress your players and execute your game plan with all new positional archetypes in Franchise. Explore all-new ways to train your favorite players to fit your roster and lead your team to glory.

Don’t miss your chance to see Todd Gurley and host Trey Smith play Madden NFL 19 on Friday, December 21 at 4 p.m. PST on Mixer and YouTube and Twitch.

Be sure to keep a look out for more episodes of Xbox Live Sessions via Xbox Wire!

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‘State of Decay 2’ soundtrack now available on vinyl

As 4 million players have been writing their own survival story in State of Decay 2, they’ve been enjoying BAFTA award-winning and Billboard / MTV VMA nominated Danish composer’s Jesper Kyd soundtrack, which is available on iTunesSpotify and Amazon. Starting today, for fans who want to experience Jesper’s soundtrack full of hope for survival and a better tomorrow in full, they can purchase the State of Decay 2 Special Edition – Double Vinyl for $39.99. In addition to the atmospheric guitar and analog synth score as heard in the game, the double vinyl also includes ten previously unreleased tracks.

To celebrate today’s release, we caught up with Jesper to ask him some questions gathered from the State of Decay 2 player community for a deeper look at the soundtrack.

Xbox Wire: Did you play a lot of State of Decay: YOSE?

Jesper Kyd: Yes, I did play a lot of State of Decay and YOSE and it really influenced the way I wrote the score for SOD2. It reaffirmed that exploration music is very important to setting the atmosphere of the game, especially between missions.

Xbox Wire: Do you plan to play State of Decay 2?

Jesper Kyd: Yes, when I can find the time I plan to play through the game to the end.

Xbox Wire: Did you record any live musicians for the score?

Jesper Kyd: We recorded a ton of live instruments for the score such as dobro guitar, acoustic guitar, electric guitars, live percussion of all sorts, solo violin, solo cello. The live instruments are an important part of making the world of State of Decay breathe and come alive. The broken down post-apocalyptic world we play through needs to be reinforced with the feel of rural Americana, we’re in the American heartland and live instruments is critical to accomplishing an authentic vibe.

Xbox Wire: What instruments did you use?  -What is your favorite?

Jesper Kyd: My favorite instrument is probably the dobro or steel guitar. It adds such a warm and atmospheric feel to the score, especially on tracks such as “Hills of my Hometown”. I also really like the fiddle, especially when it’s playing chords across the neck. Gives it a folky feel set on a country hillside vista.

Xbox Wire: How long does it take you to write a piece of music?

Jesper Kyd: It really depends on the length of the track and purpose of the music. Exploration tracks are usually the most challenging since you don’t have a clear idea of what the music needs to do at all times. Gameplay specific music is easier since the purpose is clear and established: tension moments often need tension music, suspenseful moments needs suspense, and so on. For these tracks the challenge then becomes to write something that feels fresh and surprising.

Xbox Wire: What was different about this score compared to the first game?

Jesper Kyd: Firstly, there’s a lot more music! I worked on the project for about 2 years, writing over 3 hours of music, some 105 cues in all. Also, I tried to bring out more of the human emotion of the situation you are experiencing. We wanted the music to help make the experience feel hopeful as you try to rebuild and expand your community.

Xbox Wire: What inspired you? 

Jesper Kyd: I was inspired by the game’s setting, themes of survival and hope for the community.

Xbox Wire: Did you have any influences?

Jesper Kyd: I rarely listen to other music when writing scores and I was careful not to listen to any relevant music. You don’t want a theme you are writing to sound similar to something you might be listening to. So my main influence was the game’s rural environment and post-apocalyptic story setting. The score is infused with rustic elements from the landscape in decay and so a lot of the recordings were processed with vintage gear.

Xbox Wire: If you weren’t doing this what would you be doing?

Jesper Kyd: I always wanted to become a film maker. If I wasn’t writing music I still think I would be creating stories and experiences in different ways, perhaps as a film maker.

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343 Industries’ Bonnie Ross to be inducted into AIAS Hall of Fame

Today, we are happy to share that the Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences (AIAS) has announced its 23rd Hall of Fame recipient: Bonnie Ross, Microsoft Corporate Vice President and Head of 343 Industries. Ross has been integral in the vision and expansion of the Halo franchise that has continued to excite generations of fans, generating nearly $6 billion in worldwide sales to date and has transcended video games to grow into a global entertainment phenomenon. Ross is also a key voice in promoting STEM and diversity efforts across the gaming industry amongst women, under-represented minorities and children.

“It is thanks to Bonnie’s vision and drive for combining art and technology that has allowed the Halo universe to flourish within so many different mediums and platforms,” said Meggan Scavio, President, Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences. “That along with her deep passion to expand diversity in gaming and encourage STEM education amongst women as well as all young people is truly inspirational. Her positive legacy and leadership have helped advance interactive entertainment and will impact game makers and aspiring game makers for generations to come.”

The 2019 Hall of Fame Award will be presented to Ross during the 22nd Annual D.I.C.E. Awards ceremony on Wednesday, February 13, 2019, at the Aria Convention Center in Las Vegas by her long-time colleague and friend, Phil Spencer, Executive Vice President and Head of Gaming at Microsoft.

“It’s been a privilege to work alongside Bonnie for more than two decades, and I have continually been impressed not only by her passion for merging art and storytelling, but also her equal passion for creating teams and technical breakthroughs; solid foundations that will set the direction of Halo and Xbox for years to come,” said Spencer. “Bonnie’s tenure at Microsoft is more than just a model for aspiring game makers, it’s a proof of concept that bringing together talented and diverse voices around a shared, passionate vision, can unleash worlds, wonders, and legends that define entertainment for generations.”

Ross’ interest in technology and gaming began at an early age, where her pursuit of advanced math and science classes led to a degree in Technical Communication and a concentration in Physics and Computer Science. Following college, she landed an internship at IBM before beginning her profession at Microsoft, first working on operating systems.

Ross began her career in the games industry in 1994, when Microsoft created a PC sports gaming division, leading to her first game release of NBA Full Court Press for Windows. She progressed her career in gaming in a variety of roles, including producer, lead producer, executive producer, and general manager overseeing production for all titles within the Microsoft Game Studios portfolio. In these roles, Ross worked with several leading development studios in the co-development or publishing of many well-known titles, including Counter-Strike (Xbox), Dungeon Siege, Fuzion Frenzy, Gears of War, Jade Empire, Mass Effect, NBA: Inside Drive, Pandora’s Box, Psychonauts, and Zoo Tycoon.

In 2007, when Halo creators Bungie parted ways with Microsoft as a first-party developer, Ross founded 343 Industries, an entertainment studio committed to fostering the growth and expansion of the Halo franchise, as well as driving innovation across Microsoft platforms. That commitment to building diverse stories and characters has helped 343 Industries create immersive, blockbuster sci-fi entertainment experiences within the Halo universe. At Microsoft Game Studios and 343 Industries, she has worked with or directly overseen many well-loved Halo games: Halo 3: ODST, Halo: Reach, Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary, Halo: Spartan Assault, Halo: Spartan Strike, Halo 4, Halo: The Master Chief Collection, Halo 5: Guardians, Halo Wars 2, Halo: Fireteam Raven, and the upcoming Halo Infinite.

Ross is passionate about bringing together art and technology to transform how people experience entertainment. Over the last nine years, she pushed to broaden franchise reach and define Halo as a leader in transmedia across the entire entertainment industry, including the Halo series of video games, the upcoming Halo television series by SHOWTIME, and live-action series, such as Halo: Forward Unto Dawn and Halo: Nightfall. In addition, 12 of 17 Halo novels have been named to the New York Times Best Sellers list and Halo consumer products have generated over $1.5 billion in consumer spend.

Ross is also deeply involved in promoting efforts to drive diversity across the games industry and generating interest amongst women, minorities, and children in the pursuit of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) careers. In 1997, she co-founded the Microsoft Women in Gaming community as a way for women in the industry to network and support each other. Beginning as a small cocktail event with roughly 20 attendees, it has since then grown to become an annual lunch at the Game Developers Conference (GDC) that counts more than 1,500 in attendance.

Ross was named one of Fortune’s most powerful women in gaming and is a key part of The Ad Council’s “She Can STEM” campaign.

The AIAS Hall of Fame honor is bestowed on game creators who have been instrumental in the development of highly influential games and moving a particular genre forward. These individuals demonstrate the highest level of creativity and innovation, resulting in significant product influence on a scale that expands the scope of the industry. Past AIAS Hall of Fame recipients include: Hideo Kojima (2016), Leslie Benzies (2014), Dan and Sam Houser (2014), and Todd Howard (2017),

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New to Xbox Game Pass in December: ‘Mortal Kombat X,’ ‘Ashen’ and more

Hello, Xbox Game Pass members! It’s been, what… a whole week since we announced new games coming to Xbox Game Pass? Time to drop a few more for December. We’re here to share the factual facts about factual games coming, in fact, to Xbox Game Pass with facts.

You already know that there are over one hundred great games at your fingertips… but wait, there’s more! Here is how to get the most out of your Xbox Game Pass membership this month (that isn’t just a shameless plug to go follow our Twitter and Instagram and ask you to share your favorite cat gifs with us):

  • Warn everyone in the house you might randomly yell, “Finish him!” when playing Mortal Kombat X
  • Caution them that when playing Pro Evolution Soccer 19 you could also burst out yelling “Goooaaaallll!” sometimes
  • Uh, just go ahead and buy the whole house a bunch of ear plugs
  • Promise yourself you won’t shriek, but know you’re going to get pretty freaked out after you start playing Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice
  • Play Shadow Warrior 2 and scream loudly as you play another game with someone stuck in your head, but this time you’re a ninja
  • Realize you’re probably still going to need to buy more ear plugs
  • Install Ori and the Blind Forest to give you all the feels, and less of the loud yelling, shrieking, and angry looks every time people walk past when you turn on the Xbox
  • Make room for the even more games we’ve got coming this month, but seriously, don’t uninstall anyone’s games to make room because they’re already a little mad about all the yelling
  • Convince your friends to play Spintires Mudrunner, and salvage your friendships over some (digital) time playing in the mud

Without further ado, let’s dive into some details on the new games coming soon to Xbox Game Pass:

Mortal Kombat X (December 7)

Jump 25 years into the future as the epic Mortal Kombat saga continues. Mortal Kombat X introduces a new generation of fighters (including the return of some fan favorites), brilliant cinematic presentation, and the Character Variation system that allows players to pick from special moves, attacks, or weapons that impact both the strategy and fighting style of each character. Gather your best buds to battle it out in this fantastic fighting game.

Pro Evolution Soccer 19 (December 13)

PES 2019 recreates soccer by showcasing the power of football through authentic leagues and enhanced realism — and Xbox Game Pass members will have access to all the action! And now thanks to a recent game update that added new stadiums, team kits, and a new range of football boots and balls, the game is better than ever before. Xbox Game Pass members are invited to compete in the upcoming season of PES League, Konami’s official global esports competition, to find and award the best player of PES 2019.

Spintires: Mudrunner (December 13)

In the harsh wilds of Siberia, take control of mighty, off-road vehicles in Spintires: Mudrunner. Experience mud, torrential rivers, and other harsh obstacles powered by an impressive physics engine that simulates some of the toughest environments known to man. Drive 19 formidable vehicles, each with their own customizable attachments with nothing but your wits and navigational abilities, or with up to three friends at your side in multiplayer! Work together to haul lumber and unlock new vehicles and maps as you go.

Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice (December 17)

From Ninja Theory, one of the creative development teams added to the Microsoft Studios family earlier this year, and the makers of Enslaved: Odyssey to the West and DmC: Devil May Cry, comes a warrior’s brutal journey into myth and madness. Set in the Viking age, a broken Celtic warrior embarks on a haunting vision quest into Viking Hell to fight for the soul of her dead lover. Created in collaboration with neuroscientists and people who experience psychosis, Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice will pull you deep into Senua’s mind.

Ori and the Blind Forest (December 20)

Often described as exquisitely beautiful and heart-wrenchingly emotional, Ori and the Blind Forest earned critical acclaim – with over 30 industry awards to its name – and deeply passionate fans when it arrived on Xbox One. Moon Studios’ side-scrolling platformer combines incredible art, stirring music, challenging gameplay, and powerful narrative into a landmark game that shouldn’t be missed..

Shadow Warrior 2 (December 20)

The lovechild to one of the most frantic franchises in the world and developer Flying Wild Hog, comes the best FPS melee combat system ever made. Slice your enemies into sashimi with lethal blades or go out with a bang using staggering amount of firepower and archaic magic to purge the world of evil. With those elements combined you have the wackiest, weirdest, and bloodiest looter-shooter ever made. Jump into the shoes of Lo Wang, your friendly, neighborhood ninja slash assassin, slash hitman, slash, slash, slash… Defeat unending waves of monsters on your way to solve the mystery of a girl magically locked in your head.

Aaaaannnddd if you missed it, at The Game Awards yesterday, we announced three more games coming to Xbox Game Pass. Seriously, just quit your job now.

Ashen (December 7)

An open world co-op action RPG about a wanderer in search of a place to call home. As you adventure through the realm of Ashen, you’ll occasionally encounter other players in a passive, co-operative multiplayer open world. It’s up to you to decide how to deal with them – fight together against evil, invite them into your party or simply ignore them.

Kingdom Two Crowns (December 11)

Work with other players in the brand-new solo or co-op campaign mode to build a kingdom and secure it from the threat of the Greed. Experience new technology, units, enemies, mounts, and secrets in the next evolution of the award-winning micro strategy franchise!

Below (December 14)

A procedural terrarium filled with life, mystery, and death. Test your adventurer mettle against The Isle’s subterranean labyrinths. Explore a large, interconnected underworld crawling with cunning wildlife, deadly traps and stalked by a shadowy presence. Survive the perils of The Depths and unearth what lies below… or die trying.

Join Xbox Game Pass Today

With over 100 great games for one low monthly price, including highly-anticipated new Xbox One exclusives the day they’re released, including the highest-rated* Xbox exclusive of this generation Forza Horizon 4, plus more games added all the time, Xbox Game Pass gives you the ultimate freedom to play. If you haven’t tried Xbox Game Pass, join today and get your first month for $1, and discover your next favorite game.

For the latest Xbox Game Pass news, follow us on Twitter and Instagram, download the Xbox Game Pass app for Android and iOS and keep it tuned here to Xbox Wire. Until next month, game on!

*Source: Metacritic

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‘Tis the season for giving with these deals from Xbox One

It is the holiday season, and to celebrate, we are sharing Xbox One deals on consoles and accessories to get you ready for some winter gaming.

Starting today, you can save $50 on any Xbox One bundle, including Xbox One X, the world’s most powerful console, and Xbox One S, the best value in gaming and entertainment this Holiday. And there’s no shortage of amazing bundles to choose from at a participating retailer near you.

Join the worldwide Fortnite phenomenon with $50 off the Xbox One S Fortnite Bundle and get ready to battle to be the last one standing. This bundle includes a full-game download of Fortnite Battle Royale plus the Eon cosmetic set download and 2,000 V-bucks. Fortnite Battle Royale is the 100-player PVP mode where you fight to the end. Build and destroy environments and join intense PVP combat on Xbox Live, the fastest, most reliable gaming network

Get $50 off the Xbox One S Battlefield V Bundle and enter mankind’s greatest conflict: World War II. Join the ranks with a full-game download of Battlefield V Deluxe Edition containing paratrooper apparel for your Company of soldiers, special assignments, and weekly Airlifts. Plus, enjoy an outstanding Battlefield experience with full-game downloads of Battlefield 1943, Battlefield 1 Revolution, and one-month of EA Access.

Looking for more power? Save $50 on the Xbox One X Fallout 76 Bundle and explore, quest, build, and triumph in a post-nuclear wasteland. Prepare for an epic adventure in the prequel to the award-winning Fallout RPG series from Bethesda Game Studios. Journey alone or with friends in a new and unique Fallout adventure, and for the first time ever, Vault Dwellers can team up online on Xbox Live!

With so many great bundles to choose from, you can’t go wrong while saving $50!

And if you need more accessories for your arsenal, starting on December 9, you can save $10 on select Xbox Wireless Controllers and gear up for the holidays.

December Console Promo 2018

December Console Promo 2018

Equip yourself with $10 off the Xbox Wireless Controller Phantom Black and sense victory within, or bring your ABXY game and save $10 on the Xbox Wireless Controller Sport White edition. There’s plenty of other controllers to choose from as well, so be sure to size them all up and choose wisely!

And top it all off with deals on Xbox Live Gold and Xbox Game Pass:

  • Get $50 off Xbox Game Pass and get instant access to over 100 games
  • Starting on 12/9 buy 3 months of Xbox Live Gold and get $10 towards the Microsoft Online Store

This Holiday is the best time to get into gaming or to give the thrills of gaming with Xbox One. Enjoy 100 games right out of the box with Xbox Game Pass, and access all your favorite entertainment through apps like YouTube, Netflix, and more. Watch 4K Blu-ray movies and stream 4K video on both Xbox One consoles and experience immersive true 4K gaming on Xbox One X—the world’s most powerful console. Whether you’re playing games, watching your favorite shows or streaming gameplay, Xbox One delivers brilliant graphics with HDR technology, premium audio, and the fastest, most reliable gaming network.  Visit Xbox.com to learn more.

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New batch of Xbox Game Pass titles are on their way

Hello, Xbox Game Pass members!

Now that we’ve had our annual dose of turkey and family, normal service resumes here at Xbox Game Pass. And on that note, we’re excited to share three important public service announcements:

  1. If the 16 games we announced at X018 were not enough, we are adding three more to the Xbox Game Pass catalog over the coming week, starting with The Gardens Between on November 29, Mutant Year Zero on December 4, and Strange Brigade on December 6. We require you to play these, as well as the over 100 other great games included in your membership – no negotiation.
  2. If you have a mobile telephone, you need to download the Xbox Game Pass app for iOS and Android. Through this app you can remotely install Xbox Game Pass games to your Xbox One so they’re ready to play when you come home from school or work. We’ll also send you notifications to let you know when games are added, so say goodbye to FOMO (and your job/free time).
  3. Follow our Xbox Game Pass Instagram and Twitter You don’t want to miss out on life-changing memes and gaming banter.

What’s that sound? It’s like a voice on the wind saying “We want more…” We hear it. Keep it tuned here to Xbox Wire, the Xbox Game Pass Twitter and Instagram channels (see above) and the Xbox Game Pass app (again, see above) where we’ll be dropping even more games throughout the month of December.

Without further ado, let’s dive into some details on the new games coming soon to Xbox Game Pass:

The Gardens Between (November 29)

Follow two best friends Arina and Frendt who fall into a surreal world full of dreamlike garden islands. Together they’ll embark on a nostalgic journey through a world built around objects from their childhood, lighting constellations and illuminating threads from a time when friendship was the most important thing in the world. Manipulate time to solve puzzles and traverse each precious memory to reach the summit of each island in this single-player puzzle adventure.

Mutant Year Zero (December 4)

A tactical adventure game with turn-based combat and real-time exploration of a post-apocalyptic world, Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden puts you in command of a unique squad of mutant soldiers as you scavenge through the remains of civilization to survive. From the creators of Hitman and PayDay, experience a mix of story, exploration, stealth, and strategy in the brutal environment of a decimated planet Earth as your band of heroes embark on a quest to discover the legend of Eden.

Strange Brigade (December 6)

Join an elite agency of extraordinary adventurers and investigate the darkest corners of Egypt, where mythological menaces manifest! Strange Brigade offers a rip-roaring, 1930s-style campaign full of peril, intrigue, and good old derring-do for one to four players as you tackle an army of mummified monsters! Solve mind-bending puzzles, defy dastardly traps, unearth incredible treasure in a mysterious, ancient landscape and use the most marvelous firearms known to man in thrilling third-person combat to defeat the witch queen Seteki and send her petrifying minions back to the afterlife.

Join Xbox Game Pass Today

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For the latest Xbox Game Pass news, follow us on Twitter and Instagram and stay tuned to Xbox Wire. Until next month, game on!

*Source: Metacritic

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Free for all ‘Sea Of Thieves’ players, Shrouded Spoils update brings treasure trove of new content

The nights might be drawing in, but the future is looking bright for pirates as Sea of Thieves’ fourth free major content update, Shrouded Spoils, is available to players starting today, Wednesday, November 28.

A treasure trove of new content, Shrouded Spoils responds to feedback from the Sea of Thieves community and features new content and improvements to give a deeper and richer experience. From offering new twists on favourite encounters to giving new riches and spoils to uncover, Shrouded Spoils has something for everyone including:

  • The addition of fog that can appear suddenly and cloak all manner of dangers at sea and on land.
  • New Merchant Alliance items to find including the explosive Mega-keg, Crate of Ancient Bone Dust and Mermaid Statue Gems.
  • More skeleton forts to take on as six new forts become active making nine in total.
  • Improved skeleton ships including the addition of a new skeleton sloop, a new ‘Battle of the Devil’s Roar’ skeleton ship skirmish and the addition of roaming skeleton ships who display varying levels of aggression.
  • New ways to express yourself including all-new ship customisations – cannons, wheels and capstans – and the time-limited ‘Wailing Barnacle’ ship and cosmetic set.
  • A range of new Pirate Legend Commendations for Athena Levels 1-10.
  • More frequent appearances from the Kraken (who’s also learned some new tricks), a range of new Megalodon variants to find and rewards and commendations for defeating these monsters.

The Shrouded Spoils update is available for free to all Sea of Thieves players who have bought the game across the Xbox One family of devices or on Windows 10 PC, or who have access to it as part of Xbox Game Pass. Simply download and install the latest Sea of Thieves update to get access.

We hope our community enjoys this update and we look forward to seeing you on the seas!

New to Sea of Thieves? Join the adventure at xbox.com/seaofthieves, and visit the Sea of Thieves website at SeaofThieves.com to embark on an epic journey with one of gaming’s most welcoming communities.