Xbox Game Pass misses Microsoft's subscription goal

Xbox Game Pass misses Microsoft's subscription goal

Microsoft's subscription service Xbox Game Pass has not grown quite as fast as the company had hoped.

That's according to a financial filing for the 12 months ending June 30th, 2021 – spotted by Axios – which shows that the platform's user base had risen by 37.48 per cent, ten per cent shy of the 47.79 per cent increase that the Big M had hoped for.

For the year ending June 30th, 2020, Game Pass saw an 85.75 per cent increase in subscribers, north of its predicted 71 per cent. This was no doubt helped by the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, which saw people stuck indoors and looking for ways to occupy themselves.

In January of this year, Microsoft reported that Xbox Game Pass had 18 million subscribers. That was an increase on the 15 million that the firm boasted in September 2020, which itself was a 50 per cent increase on the 10 million users Game Pass had in March of that year.

Microsoft's goals for the number of subscribers it hoped to have by the end of June 2021 is likely informed by a few factors; for one, the Big M probably thought that the coronavirus pandemic bump might continue for a little longer yet. The firm's $7.5 billion acquisition of ZeniMax Media – bringing a number of high-profile IP from the likes of Bethesda and Arkane into Game Pass – was also probably a factor.

PCGamesInsider Contributing Editor

Alex Calvin is a freelance journalist who writes about the business of games. He started out at UK trade paper MCV in 2013 and left as deputy editor over three years later. In June 2017, he joined Steel Media as the editor for new site In October 2019 he left this full-time position at the company but still contributes to the site on a daily basis. He has also written for, VGC, Games London, The Observer/Guardian and Esquire UK.