In a new financial filing, Microsoft revealed that it has missed its growth targets for Xbox Game Pass subscribers over the last 12 months ending June 30th.
In the 2019-2020 period Xbox Game Pass subscribers increased 86%, exceeding its target of 71%. In the 2020-2021 period, however, the subscription service only grew 37%, missing Microsoft’s 48% growth target.
It is unfortunately very difficult to translate this into actual user numbers, but the most recent confirmed Xbox Game Pass subscriber number is 18 million subscribers in January 2021.
The filing does not expand on the reasons for the slower growth, but we suspect the easing of the pandemic and stay at home orders, the difficulty maintaining large percentage growth when you are already quite large and the continuing strength of competitive ecosystems such as the PlayStation would all play a part.
The growth numbers were revealed as they are a metric by which Microsoft executives are rewarded – meeting the target means a larger compensation package. This may explain recent rumours that Microsoft is looking to reduce the price of Game Pass in some regions to make it more attractive.