Xbox Game Pass at E3 2019

Xbox Game Pass subscribers rise by 50 per cent in under five months

Subscribers to Microsoft’s key Xbox Game Pass service have increased by 5m in the last few months. Microsoft stated it had broken the 10m subscriber mark in late April of this year and yesterday stated that figure is now 15m.

That’s five months to increase the subscriber base by 50 per cent, which shows good progress, but it’s still probably way short of the kind of boost that Microsoft will see come the end of the year, as a raft of new console hardware should boost uptake further still. 

Current estimates of the number of Xbox One consoles sold to date sit around 50m. However, with Game Pass also a PC service, it’s hard to look meaningfully at the two figures, except to say that it still has a lot of room to grow into. The service, and its number of subscribers, is now undoubtedly the key strategic goal for Microsoft, the number by which it will be judged over the next couple of years, with every part of its strategy leading straight back to bolstering the service – be that first-party acquisitions, the EA deal, Xbox All Access and many more. 

The growth announcement came yesterday amidst the Bethesda/Zenimax acquisition news. 

“Gaming is the most expansive category in the entertainment industry, as people everywhere turn to gaming to connect, socialize and play with their friends,” said Satya Nadella, CEO, Microsoft. “Quality differentiated content is the engine behind the growth and value of Xbox Game Pass—from Minecraft to Flight Simulator. As a proven game developer and publisher, Bethesda has seen success across every category of games, and together, we will further our ambition to empower the more than three billion gamers worldwide.”

“This is an awesome time to be an Xbox fan. In the last 10 days alone, we’ve released details on our two new consoles which go on pre-order tomorrow, launched cloud gaming in Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, and now we’re making another investment in the most critical part of our strategy: the games,” said Phil Spencer, executive vice president, Gaming at Microsoft. “Generations of gamers have been captivated by the renowned franchises in the Bethesda portfolio and will continue to be so for years to come as part of Xbox.”

About Seth Barton

Seth Barton is the editor of MCV – which covers every aspect of the industry: development, publishing, marketing and much more. Before that Seth toiled in games retail at Electronics Boutique, studied film at university, published console and PC games for the BBC, and spent many years working in tech journalism. Living in South East London, he divides his little free time between board games, video games, beer and family. You can find him tweeting @sethbarton1.

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