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Xbox Game Pass Subscriptions Fall Short of Growth Goals

Xbox Game Pass is a cornerstone of Microsoft's user acquisition strategy.
Xbox Game Pass is a cornerstone of Microsoft's user acquisition strategy. / SOPA Images/GettyImages

Xbox Game Pass subscriptions grew more slowly than Microsoft predicted they would over the last year, the company revealed in a new financial filing.

Subscriptions grew by 37% over the year ending June 30, but Microsoft itself had set its growth goal at 48%, falling short by 11%. This comes as a stark contrast with the growth Game Pass enjoyed over the course of the pandemic, in which subscriptions increased by 86% and beat out a 71% growth goal.

Game Pass subscription growth is a key indicator of Microsoft's overall success in gaming, and one of the few made public. Game Pass numbers are the only gaming-exclusive metric listed in senior figures' payment plans, according to Axios, and Microsoft doesn't share hardware sales figures. It also tends to keep the total number of subscribers under wraps — the last confirmed total, from January, showed 18 million subscribers.

Microsoft continues to load Xbox Game Pass with high quality and new releases, including the forthcoming Halo Infinite in December and Bethesda's highly anticipated Starfield in November 2022.