Game Pass is growing, but not as fast as Xbox wants

Keep it up, but do better.

Image via Microsoft

There’s a great value to Game Pass, giving players the opportunity to pay a subscription fee and play everything available on the service across Xbox consoles and PC. It’s a strong value proposition — one that the other big names have tried to emulate. Sony merged PlayStation Plus and PlayStation Now this year, and Nintendo offers classic titles via Nintendo Switch Online. Perhaps those competitors are partially responsible for Game Pass not growing at the rate that Xbox hoped for.

As reported by Axios, the service has failed to meet its increasing subscriber goals for the second year in a row. That goal for fiscal year 2022 was a 72.88% increase, but the actual rate was only 28.07%. That’s a pretty big miss of nearly 50%. These subscriber goals are tied to the pay of high-level Microsoft executives, and while that has no effect on the average player, a growing service is still good for everyone. More money coming in from subs means more money going out to developers, which will then result in more games being added to the service.

Despite not hitting the goal, there was still growth for Game Pass. That 28.07% only seems small when compared to the larger goal — it would be a strong rate of growth in any other circumstance. This is one of the only times we’ve even been able to peek behind the curtain and see some of the numbers in regard to Game Pass. The service is clearly successful for Xbox, but the company has been mostly secretive about the specifics. The last we heard, the service passed 25 million subscribers, and that was back in January of this year.

More recent introductions to the service include the Game Pass Friends & Family plan. That’s being tested in specific regions right now, but the idea is to let a group of five accounts pay for a combined, discounted subscription, letting everyone on the list play games in the growing library. One of the next titles on deck is Pentiment, a medieval-art-inspired adventure from Obsidian releasing in November.