Xbox Game Pass grew 37% in subscribers, but needs Halo and other hits

Microsoft’s latest SEC filing provided insight into the growth of the Xbox Game Pass. The subscription service saw a 37.48% increase in total subscribers compared to Microsoft’s last fiscal year. although it is a impressive growth for a year without an exclusive like Halo, it falls short of Microsoft’s internal target of 47.79% growth. And that illustrates the importance of these blockbuster releases for the Xbox Game Pass. And it shows why the company spent so much on acquisitions.

Microsoft had expected slower overall growth for fiscal year 2021. Xbox Game Pass grew 86%, surpassing the internal target of 71%. But without Halo and a few other featured or exclusive Game Pass releases during this reporting period, the company knew Game Pass wouldn’t replicate this 2020 expansion in 2021.

Still, 2021 was shy even for those expectations. And that says a lot about what will work and what won’t with Game Pass. Although Xbox Game Pass had some daily releases like The Ascent and Outriders, they weren’t enough to push the Game Pass subscriber base to more than 50%.

“With the Game Pass, we are redefining how games are distributed, played and viewed,” says the SEC document. “With the acquisition of ZeniMax Media, we’ve made 20 of the world’s most iconic and beloved games accessible via Game Pass.”

This growth will likely accelerate again this year-end with the Forza Horizon 5 it’s the Halo Infinite. Microsoft’s top popular games for the year are yet to be released! But it should really improve, as the company is able to deliver games like Starfield in November 2022 and beyond.

For now, Microsoft is spending a lot of money for decent growth. But you know you need to see growth to justify your investment. The good news for Xbox boss Phil Spencer and Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella is that they’re pretty close to their goal, even when the Game Pass is running out of big names. firty party.

Once these big games start coming in at a regular cadence, Microsoft should be able to attract the kind of growth it needs and wants.