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Octopath Traveler — a former Switch exclusive — is coming to Xbox Game Pass

octopath traveler
(Image credit: Square Enix)

Xbox Game Pass is full of surprises. Hot on the heels of Outriders getting a day one Game Pass debut, Microsoft announced that another Square Enix title will make its way to the subscription service: Octopath Traveler. The game will be available on March 25. What’s especially interesting about Octopath Traveler, of course, is that it started life as a Nintendo Switch exclusive.

Information comes from the official Xbox Wire blog, where community lead Megan Spurr listed a second round of big Xbox Game Pass releases for March. (We covered the first round a few weeks back.) Some games — Star Wars: Squadrons, Yakuza 6: The Song of Life, Undertale — we already knew were coming. But Octopath Traveler comes as something of a surprise, particularly since the game has never been on an Xbox console before.

For those who haven’t played it, Octopath Traveler is a Japanese RPG from Square Enix. You play as eight different adventurers who pursue their own story goals, and later team up to confront a greater evil. The game debuted on the Nintendo Switch back in 2018, but migrated to PC in 2019 and Stadia in April 2020. This isn’t the first time that Octopath Traveler has been available outside of the Nintendo Switch, but it is the first time the game has been available for another console. (Or, more accurately, three consoles: You’ll be able to play it on the Xbox One, Xbox Series S and Xbox Series X.)

Since Octopath Traveler has never been on Xbox as a standalone game before, its inclusion in Game Pass does raise some interesting questions. Will players be able to buy the game à la carte? Will it also come to PlayStation systems? And — perhaps most importantly — between Outriders and Octopath Traveler, will Microsoft and Square Enix work more closely in the future? Square Enix games have come and gone from Xbox Game Pass before (notably, Final Fantasy XV), but two big Game Pass announcements in as many days is an interesting move.

In any case, if Octopath Traveler doesn’t sound like your thing, there are 11 other Xbox Game Pass games coming out between now and April 1. In addition to the ones mentioned above, players will also be able to grab Empire of Sin, Nier: Automata, Torchlight III, Genesis Noir, Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire, Supraland and Narita Boy. (Some of these titles were already available on the Xbox, but will now be available on PC as well.)

As you might have guessed, this means that Microsoft will remove a handful of Xbox Game Pass titles as well. On March 31, players will lose access to Hyperdot, Journey to the Savage Planet and Machinarium. It’s still a net gain of nine games, so hopefully, players will find new titles to suit their tastes.