Xbox Live was plagued with issues on Thursday and Friday, leaving many unable to play the platform's latest console-exclusive, Gears 5, which also faced its own post-launch issues. Players subscribing to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate or who purchased the Gears 5 Ultimate Edition were supposed to have access to the game four days early on top of other premium content included in the package. While they were able to access the game on September 5, many couldn't get into multiplayer lobbies, group up with friends, or even start the campaign.
Those who opted for Gears 5 Ultimate Edition or Xbox Game Pass Ultimate are paying a premium price for games that they cannot play due to the outage. The Xbox Game Pass service, in particular, gives Xbox One owners access to a large library of digital titles that they can download on the fly. Xbox console-exclusive games are one of the biggest draws of the service, as users can get access to them for a monthly fee as opposed to $60 upfront for a physical or digital copy. One drawback is the fact that these games can be tough to access when Xbox Live issues arise.
Xbox Support posted to Twitter saying that the company was aware of the problems and working on quick fixes so players could get online. Yesterday morning, the service was back up and running normally with no issues to be found. The studio behind Gears 5, The Coalition, hasn't released any details on whether or not players who spent more for early access will be compensated in some way for the time that was lost.
One of the aforementioned benefits of purchasing the Gears 5 Ultimate Edition was a limited experience point boost that would expire after a certain period. Many players who expected to jump in early and get that benefit were met with connection problems that ate away at the time they could've been playing matches. While the game has been having post-launch issues, The Coalition has been very active on social media giving players constant updates on patches and fixes.
Problems with Xbox Live have been a bit persistent over the past couple of weeks. Which begs the question, why should players buy into early access for games like Gears 5 if they're only going to be met with server issues and other problems? These issues could be problematic going into the future as Xbox begins to embrace its xCloud streaming service more leading into the next console generation. A cloud gaming service going down means that players lose access to any of the titles they're actively paying to play.