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Xbox Game Pass missed subscriber target, but there are 70bn reasons it won’t last

Microsoft’s Xbox Game Pass subscription service isn’t growing as fast as the company hoped, despite racking up more than 25 million members, according a new financial filing.

As Axios reports, the subscriber tally as of the end of June 2021 was up 37% on the 18 million Microsoft had amassed at the end of June 2020. However, Microsoft had targeted year-on-year growth of almost 48%. The filing made to the securities and exchanges commission (SEC) in the United States outlines a missed target.

However, there will be mitigating factors, like the continued struggle to keep Xbox Series X and (to a lesser extent) Series S models on the shelves since the consoles’ launch in late 2020. There were also long delays to flagship first-party exclusives like Halo Infinite, which was available to Game Pass subscribers on Day 1.

The decline in growth vs expectations is the reverse to the 2019 to 2020 situation where subs increased by 85% based on a target of 71%. It’s highly possible that, in the last six months, since this data was published, Microsoft has been able to boost Game Pass subscriptions in line with its expectations.

Besides, given today’s news of the company’s intentions to buy Activision Blizzard, there are $70 billion reasons this growth shortcoming won’t last. Microsoft is in the process of gaining ownership of legendary video game franchises like Call of Duty, Crash Bandicoot, Warcraft and Overwatch, among others.

It’s not clear whether these games will become Xbox exclusives, but you can bet your bottom dollar that future instalments will be coming to Game Pass. Microsoft says it plans “as many Activision Blizzard games as we can” to the service once the acquisition is complete.

Which Activision games are you looking forward to playing on Game Pass? Let us know @trustedreviews on Twitter.

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