Xbox Game Pass subs have grown 37%, but Microsoft execs won't be happy


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In brief: Microsoft’s Xbox Game Pass continues to be a popular service for both console and PC users. During its financial year 2021, which ended on June 30, 2021, subscriber numbers increased 37%. That might sound like something the company would be pleased about, but it’s actually 11% lower than Microsoft’s target.

Axios reports that Xbox Game Pass subs skyrocketed 86% between mid-2019 and mid-2020, jumping 86%—beating its target of 71%. The company wasn’t expecting FY2021 to be as successful so targeted a 48% growth goal, but XGP fell short.

Missing the target will impact Microsoft executives as it’s the only pure gaming metric listed in senior management’s payment plans, sitting alongside targets such as number of LinkedIn sessions and usage of Microsoft Teams. So if you see Phil Spencer looking miserable, this might be why.

Exactly how many subscribers Xbox Game Pass now boasts is unclear. The most recent official figure was 18 million back in January. It’s believed to have been over 22 million by April, so surpassing 30 million before the end of the year is a strong possibility—assuming it hasn’t already reached that milestone.

Making Xbox Game Pass more compelling for new subs is Forza Horizon 5’s arrival on the service this November 5, the same day as its official launch, while Age of Empires IV lands next Thursday (October 28), and Halo Infinite hits on December 8.

Additionally, Minecraft will join Game Pass for PC on November 2, followed by new Minecraft Dungeons Seasonal Adventures in December, and Caves & Cliffs: Part II later this year. There’s also Everspace 2 on October 21.

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I'm not big fan of GaaS, and with the limitations of games in GP (limited cars in Forza, planes and airports in FlightSim and other) I will simply go and buy them on Steam in couple of months. Not surprising that other people thinks similarly. GP is solid option for people who have way too many time;) I rather select games I know I want to play and finish. (or just play, can't really finish a Total War game ;D )
This may be one of the first news items of stunted growth because of course nobody would want a game pass if they cannot buy neither a Series X nor a GPU. They do offer cloud gaming but it's been technically on beta until fairly recently plus people would much rather run on their own hardware if they had the option.

So if I'm correct their numbers next years, that's going to be a big ouch vs their predictions unless of course they become more realistic about the state of things and adjust their growth projections to half or a third of what they'd see under normal circumstances. (Note that this might be the new normal mind you)
The deal that gives Xbox gold subscribers a way of upgrading up to three years of gold to Xbox ultimate for pc and console for the cost of a months game pass ultimate has meant most Xbox console players already have it. I don’t mind that the games aren’t ultimate editions - there is usually a substantial discount available to buy that version if you want to own it if you are on game pass.

The lack of new AAA titles on the pass for the last few months wouldn’t have helped. New Forza Horizon, Halo Infinite campaign and Starfield should see increases in users but with no new Series X consoles to really get the most out of Console Game Pass, I’m not surprised numbers are lower. It’s the day one series X optimised exclusives that would cost you £50 or £70 that make game pass worth it for anyone who isn’t already signed up.

And lucky bastards like me with my series X and my gaming PC. But not enough time to play game pass except a quick blast on back4blood cos New World and my kids are taking it all up.
Game pass is great but all the games on it are old, barley any new hits and with chip shortages a lot of gamers are being sidelined. With game pass has a few more good games that stand out and people can buy GPUs again I'm sure game pass will be doing fine.
I'll PASS, on the GamePass.

I don't care about GaaS.

I'll rather own them myself,

Then being owned like an a**.
They did, it's called Game Pass Ultimate. You get access on both PC and Xbox.
I meant for the same price. I'm not paying that much for Game Pass and I don't even own a Xbox SX/SS. At that price, it's going to be a money sink to even buy one.

If Microsoft improves their Store (in Windows 10 not just 11) and buy more gamestudios - it might be worth buying for me in some years.