F1 fans everywhere are eagerly awaiting any news about F1 2021.
With the season now underway we all want to know when the game will land and what the new features are, but there is a recent trend that could see one group of F1 2021 players have an advantage over everyone else.
Xbox Game Pass.
The service gives members access to hundreds of games for free, and titles usually land there after a few months of general release, the recent move to make MLB The Show 21 available on Game Pass from day 1 has turned a lot of heads.
So could F1 2021 follow a similar path?
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F1 2021 on Xbox Game Pass
There are a few reasons to think that F1 2021 could find itself on Xbox Game Pass relatively quickly, if not immediately, this time around.
For a start, F1 2019 is already on Game Pass, while Codemasters' most recent release DIRT 5 was added to the service pretty quickly. So Codemasters is already familiar with Game Pass and comfortable with its titles on there.
Codemasters is also an EA Studio now following a $1.2bn takeover earlier this year. As Xbox players will be well aware, EA Play is now a part of Xbox Game Pass at no extra cost, giving members access to a huge library of EA titles.
With those relationships firmly cemented, and a premium sports title in MLB The Show 21 now setting the precedent, it's not a far fetched idea that F1 2021 could be on Xbox Game Pass from release.
Why it might not happen
The biggest barrier to this is that F1 games are the flagship annual release for Codemasters, and their sales are undoubtly responsible for a big chunk of their annual income.
Having the game on Game Pass would see a big chunk of their audience get the game for free. It would be an even bigger slice of PC players were included too. Sure, they may be an EA Studio rather than an independent one now, but making money is still the name of the game.
While it's an exciting thought for all of us, and would certainly expand the player pool, it would be a brave step for EA to allow the game to be a day 1 release. It would also then put pressure on other titles like FIFA 22 to follow suit.
As much as Xbox looks to have its eyes set on winning players over with gaming services beyond the console, we might have to wait a bit to play F1 2021 without buying it.
F1 2021 release date
The game is yet to be officially announced, and as such there is no release date for F1 2021 just yet.
We expect an announcement fairly soon, and for Codemasters to aim at their usual late June/early July release window.
For more articles like this, take a look at our F1 page.