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Xbox Game Pass subscriber numbers grow but miss goal

Figure study.

The number of people subscribed to Xbox Game Pass has grown by 37 percent over the year ending 30th June, Microsoft has revealed.

But that's a slower growth curve than the 48 percent goal it had previously set itself (thanks, Axios Gaming).

It's also slower than the explosive growth of Game Pass subscribers during the previous 12 months, when the total shot up by 86 percent, beating Microsoft's own early targets.

These numbers are being scrutinised as Microsoft sees them as key targets for its gaming division and its senior executives. According to Axios, Xbox Game Pass numbers are the only gaming-exclusive metric listed in senior figures' payment plans.

For fans, the numbers are also a rare window into how well Xbox is doing generally, and how well its model of releasing new games day and date in Game Pass is going. Microsoft does not share hardware figures, unlike Sony, and it has been a while since we've heard a specific subscriber total for Xbox Live or Xbox Game Pass.

The last we heard, Xbox Game Pass' official subscriber total stood at 18 million people back in January this year.

A minor kerfuffle occured last month when Take-Two boss Strauss Zelnick threw out a 30 million subscriber figure when speaking with Xbox boss Phil Spencer during a live interview on The Wrap. Spencer didn't corroborate the number, which is believed to be over-optimistic.

Unofficially, Windows Central's Jez Corden has said Xbox Game Pass had 23 million subscribers by 20th April - meaning the userbase had more than doubled in size in a year. If that momentum continued through the launch of this year's big hitters like Forza Horizon 5 and Halo Infinite, 30 million seems attainable by then.

We may hear more at Microsoft's special show to celebrate the Xbox's 20th anniversary, due to be held on 15th November at 5pm UK time.

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Tom Phillips


Tom is Eurogamer's Editor-in-Chief. He writes lots of news, some of the puns and makes sure we put the accent on Pokémon.

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