The Xbox brand has had an impressive year in 2020. Not only did Xbox launch two new consoles in the Xbox Series X and the Xbox Series S, but the growth of its Xbox Game Pass subscription has been very impressive. The Xbox Game Pass subscription has added a ton of new games in 2020, including Xbox first-party titles and launch-day indie games. But not every announcement can be about new games added to Xbox Game Pass. Sometimes games have to depart the service, too.
Four games are now confirmed to be leaving Xbox Game Pass, across both PC and console, as of January 15. This round of dropped games is limited to just four titles, thankfully, but they're each exciting games that will be sorely missed. The four titles include FTL: Faster Than Light, My Friend Pedro, Sword Art Online: Fatal Bullet, and Tekken 7. Both Sword Art Online: Fatal Bullet and Tekken 7 are expected to leave on January 15, but haven't had that date officially confirmed.
Tekken 7 is obviously the biggest game of the group to be leaving the service. The latest fighting game in the popular franchise sold over 6 million copies as of this past September, surpassing Bandai Namco's expectations for the release. It's unclear why Tekken 7 is leaving Xbox Game Pass, but it's possible that Bandai Namco wasn't seeing as many players as it would have liked, or that it wasn't converting enough of them into DLC buyers. It also could simply be that Microsoft has chosen not to renew its license to keep Tekken 7 on Game Pass.
While Tekken 7 will be sorely missed, FTL: Faster Than Light and My Friend Pedro are gems in their own right. Whereas Tekken 7 is a game that could drive subscribers to the service based on name recognition, FTL and My Friend Pedro are the types of games current subscribers could stumble on and enjoy.
At the very least, four games leaving Xbox Game Pass is relatively few. In December, for example, a total of 10 games left Xbox Game Pass. Seven of those left it on December 15, as the mid-month seems to be when Xbox Game Pass contracts often expire.
As four games leave the service, plenty more rise to take their place. In January, Xbox Game Pass subscribers will get to check out Killer Queen Black, Cyber Shadow, Yakuza 3, 4, and 5 Remastered, as well as a major Xbox Series X/S console exclusive in The Medium. Expect more for Xbox Game Pass in 2021.