The biggest day-one Xbox Game Pass launches of 2022


While Xbox may have had a fairly quiet 2022 in terms of first-party Game Pass drops, third-party additions to the service enjoyed a record-breaking year. Here’s a look at the top performers from last year’s Game Pass launches.

While we look forward to even more games coming to Game Pass in 2023, we thought it would be interesting to look back on 2022 to see which day-one Game Pass additions proved most successful last year. We opted to use TA player counts from the first ten days after releasing into Game Pass as our primary metric for ranking these launches, but we’ve also provided lifetime player counts (along with release dates for additional context) and cross-referenced with our Xbox Gameplay Chart data. With that out of the way, here are 2022’s five biggest day-one Game Pass drops.

5 — Deathloop

Release date: September 20th
TA player count (10 days): 95,377
TA player count (lifetime): 135,973
Xbox Gameplay Chart debut: #8

Despite arriving a full year after the timed exclusive PlayStation release, Arkane’s stylish time-loop shooter Deathloop still managed to post some impressive numbers when it finally launched on Xbox and landed in the Game Pass library on the same day. It’s no great surprise to see it on the lower end of this list — huge Arkane fans with the means to play the game before it came to Xbox likely did just that, after all — but we’d imagine that Bethesda will fare considerably better in 2023, with Starfield being one of the most anticipated games of the year.

4 — PowerWash Simulator

Release date: July 14th
TA player count (10 days): 103,262
TA player count (lifetime): 188,560
Xbox Gameplay Chart debut: #9

Every now and again, a game just manages to be in the right place at the right time. In the case of one of 2022’s most surprising success stories, the right place for PowerWash Simulator turned out to be Game Pass, and the right time that fairly barren summer period when there wasn’t a whole lot else to play. Racking up over 100k players in its first week-and-a-half here on TA and closing in on doubling that in the six months since, Futurlab’s chill sim saw players having a blast in something completely unexpected. Game Pass has helped guide a good few niche games such as this to success, but precious few to this extent, with PowerWash landing in the top three 2022 games going purely by overall TA player count. Wild.

3 — Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge

Release date: June 16th
TA player count (10 days): 114,777
TA player count (lifetime): 174,438
Xbox Gameplay Chart debut: #7

A hugely popular franchise like TMNT and a service like Game Pass is a match made in heaven, giving anyone with even a passing interesting in the half-shelled heroes (which is quite a few people) the chance to check out the new game on launch day. Sure enough, Shredder’s Revenge got off to an incredible start, even breaking into the top ten of our Gameplay Chart — it’s rare to see a retro-style brawler knock out the huge multiplayer titles that call the top flight of the chart home, but Leo, Raph, Donnie, and Mike managed it.

2 — Rainbow Six Extraction

Release date: January 20th
TA player count (10 days): 116,847
TA player count (lifetime): 160,992
Xbox Gameplay Chart debut: #3

This one may raise a few eyebrows, especially to see it so high on this list, but Game Pass saw in 2022 with a bang when it added a brand-new tactical shooter from the ever-popular Rainbow Six series to the service last January. The decision made sense — a weird pivot into facing off against aliens may have put hardcore series fans off Extraction, so opening up its tight, tense gunplay to an entirely new audience via Game Pass was a smart play and clearly paid off. While somewhat limited in scope, Extraction is actually a pretty darn good game, especially if you can get a solid team together and brave the hardest difficulty settings and events, where the most rewarding challenges await.

1 — High on Life

Release date: December 13th
TA player count (10 days): 187,117
TA player count (lifetime): 217,945
Xbox Gameplay Chart debut: #2

It shouldn’t surprise anyone to see High on Life cap off this list, especially with Microsoft having confirmed last month that Squanch Games’ seriously silly sci-fi shooter had become the most successful third-party Game Pass launch of all time. As with Turtles, anyone with Game Pass and any interest in Rick & Morty (or any of Justin Roiland’s other equally daft stuff) was free to check out High on Life, and hundreds of thousands did in the game’s first few weeks. Opinions proved somewhat mixed — Roiland’s brand of over-the-top comedy is something of an acquired taste, after all — but the game proved popular enough for it to comfortably reach the final four in our Game of the Year bracket, so it must have done something right.

And there you have it! What do you expect will be the most popular Game Pass launch of 2023? Does Starfield have it in the bag, or will there be more surprises in store? Let us know what you think down in the comments!



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