Xbox Game Pass subscriptions miss Microsoft’s target

Xbox Game Pass is often touted as the best deal in gaming and its subscriber count is a shorthand measure of Microsoft’s gaming success.

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gravedigger47d ago

"This would put Game Pass subs around 20m as of June if going by the 37% YoY growth figure."

1Victor47d ago

@grave that statement is wrong if you go by Microsoft last numbers of 18 millions on January and add the 37% growth it will be 24.660 millions assuming that those are actual recurring subscriptions and not overall meaning been padded by any promotions.
We will know for sure if or when Microsoft come out and give their numbers

NotoriousWhiz46d ago

January - October is not year over year.

fiveby946d ago

I have to wonder why MS just can't release a full set of numbers. State consoles sold through, subscriptions, etc. You would think investors would need to know as much info as is available.

FinalFantasyFanatic46d ago

I don't really get it either, it just leaves people to make the best possible educated guesses at how their going, the only reason you would think they wouldn't share numbers is because they're doing badly. But they can't be doing badly enough to be ashamed of their numbers, surely.

gravedigger46d ago (Edited 46d ago )

You are wrong as hell, Victor.

It was 15 mil. in same timeframe and x1. 37 is 20.5 as of June 2021.
Zhuge is right. You clearly MISSED DELIBERATELY word YOY in Zhuge's tweet

Quote :

@ notorious so what was their last year numbers


15 million. You can easily google it. Funny thing how Xbox fans are ignoring that number all of a sudden.

NeoGamer23246d ago

How many Azure subscriptions does MS have? How many Windows sales? How many mouse/keyboard sales?
How many Surface device sales? How many MS 365 subscribers?

MS is a huge company. They sell lots of stuff that they don't release numbers on.

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1Victor46d ago

@ notorious so what was their last year numbers

darthv7246d ago (Edited 46d ago )

It seems they are doing pretty good so far. growth each year is better than decline. 37% growth is still really good for this service.

Lightning7746d ago

It wasn't MS target figure of 47% but still a great number nonetheless.

EasilyTheBest47d ago

"But if Microsoft is struggling to get Game Pass where it wants, it will have a strong sales hook 13 months from now with the release of Bethesda's highly anticipated exclusive “Starfield.”
I think they will have a huge boost with Forza 5 & Halo next month.

Jin_Sakai47d ago (Edited 47d ago )

I agree. People are likely waiting on the big games to hit the service.

SullysCigar47d ago

I'd imagine some will pay for 1 month, play those 2 games, then cancel the sub and move on.

DJStotty47d ago


Ok, so by your "imagination" gamers will be done with both games in a month?

Rather than imagining, you need to deal in reality, the service has 20m+ concurrent subs renewing every month, me included.

KillBill47d ago

The idea people are trying to make that GamePass is a service that people are only buying for a single month to play a single release title is complete hogwash. The titles available offer continued play across a very wide group of titles. Titles that keep gamers busy playing day after day. You don't just say... ok I am going to stop playing this game because my monthly subscription is up and I am going to wait until next big title to resubscribe. It is almost like people have no idea how subscription services actually work or why people subscribe and stay subscribed. Vast majority of subscribers are in it for the long haul. Frequent constant turnover is simply not a thing with GamePass.

gamer780446d ago (Edited 46d ago )

@sullyscigar starfield is huge and so is forza horizon, good luck finishing those in a month lol

wiz719146d ago

@Sully it’s ways more games on the service then just those two though ..

PrinceAli46d ago

I dont know why people think this lool... Gamepass is a service thats been around since 2017, There have already been 2 forza games that have released since then. if you wanted Gamepass you would have already tried the service already. Halo is a F2P multiplayer game so GP isn't even needed to play what most will be playing especially wit hal lthe damage controlling the Xbox fanbase has been doing this past year and a half regarding its campaign and framing the multiplayer as the only thing worth playing. Gamepass is reporting overall numbers NOT recurring subs so even with those games coming out there wont be a large spike in new subs of Gamepass...

SurgicalMenace46d ago

Uuum, if I play any Xbox exclusive it will be by paying $15 then canceling after I'm done. Only reason to have it is to pay less for exclusive access, no other reason to keep it. I own just about every game on GP, albeit on the PS, so paying 1/4th of the cost to play their exclusives is golden. I will definetly benefit off of MS insecurities in their ability to sale their products full retail. They did this to themselves.

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oldenjon47d ago (Edited 47d ago )

Maybe, but the gamepass model will inevitably draw the kind of people that treat it like a rental service too. Subscribe for 1 month, binge the game and save $50 on the purchase price and maybe binge something else in the time they have left. Keeping subscribers will be just as difficult as getting new ones, sales will continue to decline etc.. That's why gamepass will eventually follow the practices of Netflix and other streaming apps. Less licensing deals, more gamepass exclusives, episodic content, cancellations, etc. Can't wait.

EvertonFC47d ago

Exactly, it's the same with Netflix. Amazon, disney etc I don't no anybody who subscribes for 12months it's more like 3 or 4 months of the year

Mr_cheese47d ago

To be fair Everton, I had my Netflix account for years.

Haven't personally got into the game streaming yet, tried the trials but love physically owning my games because I like building that physical collection over the generations

Sitdown46d ago

Might be a reflection of you not knowing many people. I locked in with Disney+ for 3 years, and keep Netflix and Hulu running.

Fonsecap46d ago

I agree with you, they'll have to go the netflix way, with new content every month to keep interest, or it will become a rental service, plus the fact that you can create new accounts to get 1 month for 1 EUR.

Hatchetforce46d ago

Just wait until the first MS game appears that is only on Game Pass. They'll do this to drive people to Game Pass and once they succeed the evolved version of their original X One era DRM vision will take full effect. People supporting this business model that took the bait will have been the architects of it.

gamer780446d ago

i don't know anyone who has subscribed for less than a year, of course i'm a parent and not a college/school age kid without disposable income so maybe thats why. but we are in the majority. gamepass does nothing but save our family money every month.

Darkborn46d ago

It's also the marketing and overhead to keep all these studios running that factors in. I think their ultimately going to try to get a game or significant update for a game every month to keep people subbed for the entire year, but it's not all profit. That $10 turns into a small profit if any at all depending on the amount of years those studios take to make a game people sub to a play for a few weeks.

oldenjon46d ago (Edited 46d ago )

@ everyone, I think there's probably a max threshold for people who are long-time subscribers and everyday gamers, and that the nature of games vs. tv / film will be a limiting factor for reproducing the success and subscription rates of streaming apps. Game releases are not as frequent, there's a fewer number of games than films/shows in general, and the profit model for games involves users spending more money per release. It's really not rocket science. The cost of the subscription service needs to be more proportional to the cost of games vs. films/tv, and the service needs to produce both compelling and varied content year round to get and maintain a sustainable number of subscribers and to maintain a good ratio of users:abusers. It's not a fluke that Microsoft is already struggling to meet its goals with gamepass, and besides providing additional value to the service, adding games like Forza and Halo also represents more financial risk. It's always try to pull off some impossible feat to get an edge in the marketplace, and has a history of failing with those ideas. Be prepared.

leejohnson22246d ago

Exactly but fans don't want to accept this, I get Netflix pay a low fee then I get bored and cancel especially in summer when I'm out more than in.
I look for deals on subs and cancel when the prices goes up or there is nothing that interests me. Why would you sub all year, plus I prefer to own games and not rent

DJStotty46d ago


I have been a gamepass subscriber since it was invented, launch day i subbed, early this year i upgraded to Ultimate, also been an xbox live gold subscriber since it launched until Ultimate came out.

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Profchaos47d ago (Edited 47d ago )

Yeah but that's exact what they don't want and they have stated they want people to always be engaged instead people to sub for a month play the big hit and be done with it. They even have $1 promotions around major releases like gears 5. They need constant quality month on month like Netflix producing their own content and strategically releasing it.

I'm planning to sub again for halo and finish the campaign then unsub

gravedigger47d ago

Halo will be played because MP, not because campaign. And you don't need a GPU sub for Halo MP since it is a F2P.

SullysCigar47d ago

It won't even have co-op at launch, which is a popular way to play this series, so people might hold out for a sale anyway.

CaptainHenry91646d ago

Definitely for Halo multiplayer but not for the campaign. I don't trust 343 for the campaign mode

SonyStyled46d ago

Probably not Halo, considering the single player isn’t coming out on release and the multiplayer is free to play

Class_Viceroy46d ago

Forza 5 and Halo will for sure increase it because many people have probably been waiting for them before pulling the trigger, or have unsubscribed over the past year or two because of the lack of big exclusive games and delays.

I don't really think there are any games coming up the rest of the year or early next year that would be homeruns for GamePass, because those studios are not going to go GamePass Day 1. Forza and Halo will have a huge impact on 2022 numbers, Halo especially. If it falters out of the gate Xbox will lost a little momentum.

jeromeface46d ago

Halo looks like a turd and forza is just 4 with more glitz. I don't see a huge boost, hell, those titles are making me not renew.

kimbomma146d ago


Well in terms of Halo at least people only need GP in order to play the campaign, then if they want they could just play MP for free without GP if I'm remembering that correctly.

Also I'm pretty sure those 20+M have yet to be confirmed as concurrent subs, unless you saw MS confirm otherwise?

DJStotty46d ago (Edited 46d ago )

inside info.

But yes, you are correct, although you do not need GP to play the campaign, you can buy the game as normal, play via GP, or just play the MP which is available to all account holders, silver or gold.

18 million subscribers, officially as of January 2021, i think they have grown 2 million in 10 months right?

kimbomma145d ago


Yes they grew by 2 million in 10 months for users that have at least subbed for a month, but that in no way means that 20 million is concurrent. If it was MS would definitely say so, but instead they (to my knowledge) have never given concrete numbers on how many subs are concurrent.

DeusFever46d ago

My family subscribed to HBO Max because it was cheaper than buying movie tickets. Then we dumped it and described when they had a half off promotion. But there are gamers that want to own their games, and if they aren’t subscribing to GamePass now, they won’t for Halo or Srarfield.

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47d ago Replies(1)
lelo2play47d ago (Edited 47d ago )

Microsoft need way more AAA exclusives then they are presently releasing (or not releasing) for Gamepass to gain traction. Without big exclusives, the service will stagnate.

Forza and Halo will likely give them a push, but they need more...

iplay1up247d ago

Shredders comes out in December. Cool Series snowboarding exclusive.

littletad47d ago

Sounds like you didn't read the article at all. The entirety of Bethesda's catalog was added this year. The whole Yakuza saga is on there and Forza and Halo are arriving in less than two months. Bruh, there's plenty to play.

SurgicalMenace46d ago

But what's NEW, we've been playing the whole Forza, Gears, Halo cycle for years now. Okay we have Bethesda library but we've played ALL of that too. Yakuza has been available on other platforms as well.

This paying to play aged IPs is getting old, and leaves MUCH to be desired. Much like Netflix or the like, once all the new stuff is seen how much old content do you pursue? If you want better you have to demand it, not just settle for what is offered.

Look at ALL the new experiences that Sony and Nintendo offer. After taking a REALISTIC comparison, how can one even be remotely satisfied with GP? You can't, unless you're only happy that it's cheap. In that case, you get what you pay for.

leejohnson22246d ago

If you enjoy the titles you mentioned,

gravedigger47d ago

I think Halo would push GPU numbers for one month because campaign. Multiplayer is F2P, you don't need a GPU sub for that.

DJStotty47d ago

If you were a Halo fan, you would know that no one plays the Halo campaign for "1 month", that is ridiculous.

I still play Halo 3 campaign to this date with friends.

Halo is no 1 month pickup and drop title, never has been.

LoveSpuds46d ago (Edited 46d ago )

Pretty sure that that the majority of Halo and Forza fans will already be on Gamepass. The release of these titles might attract some new subscribers but the idea that there are millions of Halo and Forza fans who don't already have Gamepass who will suddenly subscribe seems really far fetched to me.

SurgicalMenace46d ago

Uuum, everyone's game time choices are different....what's it like to speak for millions of others who've not present in this forum?

I, personally, have owned all Halo games but only cared to finish the 1st one.

Are you saying that everyone that encounters Halo chooses to play it according to your preferences? If that the basis of your statement then my divergence from your prefer practice would render your statement null....wouldn't it?😁

DJStotty46d ago


"the idea that there are millions of Halo and Forza fans who don't already have Gamepass who will suddenly subscribe seems really far fetched to me."

Halo 3 sold 14.5 million + copies, what is really far fetched is the notion that new games will not encourage as of yet, un-subbed gold members to upgrade.

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DJStotty47d ago (Edited 47d ago )


They have plenty to keep gamers engaged, not only do they have new games added every 2 or 3 weeks, more and more 3rd party publishers are releasing day 1 games, or jumping on board with their back catalogue.

For me being a Gamepass sub since its creation, and now a monthly Ultimate sub, the value just gets added and added every month.

That is the reality, no ducking, diving, deflecting, or denial will change that.

Mr_Writer8547d ago


Cool story.

For others it's not that case. My PS5 is my main platform, followed by Switch with my One S being barely used.

I sub every couple of months play 2/3 games, then unsub.

Game pass is cool, but not everything on there is for me, and the hassle of downloading just to try a game and find I don't like it means I tend to not try alot.

Once Xcloud becomes a wider thing I may dabble in a few more games, much like I do on PSNow.

coolbeans46d ago

You're literally making this comment in an article that's claiming 37% growth. What does "gain traction" even mean to you in this context?


Halo MP is free, so it won’t

wiz719146d ago

I be wondering if the people who talk about what gamepass has to offer , if they have an actual subscription. Gamepass has so many AAA games I wanted to try, from all the Yakuza games to Back 4 Blood I get to play for free and that just came out. Not to mention EA Play to tied to your subscription as well,

Godmars29046d ago

That they have to poach 3rd party titles, their studios, decades after being in the industry to get any traction should say something.

Largely that they shouldn't be in the industry.

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rlow147d ago

Not a really a deep article and not strong on the facts. Of course any service is going to have its up and downs. That’s expected, but as far as anyone knows it has been growing double digits. Might not be where they want it, but considering they pushed halo back, they are doing well.

plmkoh47d ago

Errr the article was nothing but facts in a succinct format. Unlike the usual garbage on N4G that write 4 paragraphs to paraphrase 25words coming out of Twitter.

I would say this was a very professionally written piece with links to core sources and not a regurgitated 5th hand game of Chinese whispers.

gravedigger47d ago

Article is full of facts. You literally have MS YOY documents

DJStotty47d ago (Edited 47d ago )

Which would have factored in a 2020 Halo Infinite launch right? that projected "growth" was using a Halo 2020 release as a growth prediction, like you said it is right there in the documents, but i digress, ill quote it :-

"For the 12 months that ended on June 30, Xbox Game Pass subscriber growth was up 37%, but the company had set a 48% growth goal."

So a shortfall of 11%, nothing to worry about there.

"In the company's prior fiscal year, which ran from mid-2019 through mid-2020, Game Pass subs were up 86%, exceeding a target of 71%."

So up until mid-2020, before the delay of Halo, GP subs were up 86%, exceeding a target of 71%, an increase surplus of 15%, right?

So overall, over the course of the "last few years" GP subs are still above target, by 4%.

Facts, my friend, they tell a great story.

dumahim46d ago


That's not how it works. They expected 48% for the year and didn't hit it. The results from the prior year do not change that. Their goal of 48% growth already factored in the better growth they had the year before.

MoonConquistador46d ago


You can't come on with a "facts don't lie" mantra and apply flawed math calculations to support them.

If you go look up how to calculate percentages correctly you'll find that performance is 2% above their predictions, not 4%. (155% against 153%).

With spin like this, you too can work for MS one day.

DJStotty46d ago


So your saying subs are still up? gotcha

MoonConquistador45d ago

@ DJStotty - No. The point is to get your facts right before coming across with such a smug attitude. Their actual (factual) growth was half of what you stated in your make believe story.

Facts my friend, they tell a great story when you use them.

gravedigger45d ago


Sometimes it is the best to stop typing, Xbox fan.

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