Microsoft misses its growth target for Xbox Game Pass subscriptions

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Microsoft’s Xbox Game Pass subscription service keeps growing, but it didn’t do it as fast as what the company was forecasting in the past year. Indeed, the software giant revealed in a new SEC filing (via Axios) that the number of Xbox Game Pass subscribers was up 37% from June 2020 to June 2021, which is lower than the company’s 48% growth target.

In comparison, Xbox Game Pass subscriptions were up 86% in the fiscal year 2020, exceeding the company’s internal target of 71%. Microsoft didn’t share an update on Xbox Game Pass subscribers since it announced an 18 million milestone in November, but a 38% YoY growth is still impressive in a year where Microsoft didn’t release blockbuster new exclusives.

If Halo Infinite being delayed to the 2021 holiday season probably had an impact on subscriber growth, Xbox Game Pass did get some high-profile games this year including Square Enix’s Outriders and a vast collection of Bethesda games. The company also made its $14.99 Xbox Game Pass Ultimate tier more attractive by including access to Xbox Cloud Gaming and EA Play games at no additional cost.

Microsoft is planning to report its FY2022 Q1 earnings next week, and it will be interesting to see if the company shares an update on Xbox Game Pass subscriptions. However, the company may want to wait to see if the upcoming release of Forza Horizon 5 and Halo Infinite will push more gamers to subscribe and get access to these blockbuster games on day one.

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