Xbox Game Pass Has Over 20 Million Subscribers, Still Below Microsoft’s Estimates

by in General | Oct, 21st 2021

Microsoft’s Xbox Game Pass had over 20 million subscribers back in June which, surprisingly, is far below what this Redmond-based tech giant had expected. The last public number that was announced was 18 million back in January, but a recent financial filing ahead of the company’s Annual Shareholders Meeting says that the number of subscribers has grown by 37% compared to last year — 11% shy of what Microsoft had estimated would be the case.

Using these numbers, industry analyst Daniel Ahmad calculated that Xbox Game Pass had around 20 million subscribers by the end of June. This figure is obviously a few months old at this point, but it’s still quite telling.

Expectations Weren’t Met

Impressive though this number is, it still wasn’t high enough to meet Microsoft’s expectations — the higher-ups thought it’d be 50% higher at this point in time. Whether that means that Xbox Game Pass has “failed” still remains to be seen, but it’s obviously not “performing” as well as some expect it to. We can interpret their estimates and expectations in a host of different ways (not all of which are negative), but 20 million subscribers is nothing to scoff at, that’s for sure.

Seeing how we’re just a year removed from the release of Xbox Series S|X, we’d argue that it’s quite stellar, and is bound to continue growing (in quite an organic fashion, too) as adoption rates increase throughout the world. Xbox Game Pass is already considered as the “Netflix for gaming” and, given the seismic success of the PlayStation 5 and Nintendo Switch, has undoubtedly given Microsoft a fighting chance.

Plus, with long-awaited titles like Forza Horizon 5 and Halo Infinite being right around the corner, the number of Xbox Game Pass subscribers is bound to increase by a few million! Whether that’ll be enough to meet Microsoft’s expectations still remains to be seen, though. In any case, one simply has to deem Xbox Game Pass as a wildly successful undertaking — one that will only further grow in importance and popularity as time goes on.


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