Xbox Game Pass breaks 25 million subscribers

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(Image credit: Microsoft)

An interesting tidbit buried among the day's big news about Microsoft's acquisition of Activision Blizzard is that the Xbox Game Pass continues to be a huge success, and has now amassed more than 25 million subscribers. And in case there was any doubt, subscribers can look forward to Activision Blizzard games being added to the Game Pass lineup in the future.

"Upon close, we will offer as many Activision Blizzard games as we can within Xbox Game Pass and PC Game Pass, both new titles and games from Activision Blizzard’s incredible catalog," Spencer said in his acquisition announcement on the Xbox Newswire. "We also announced today that Game Pass now has more than 25 million subscribers. As always, we look forward to continuing to add more value and more great games to Game Pass."

25 million subscribers adds up to a hefty chunk of monthly revenue for Microsoft, but even more impressive is the growth it represents, up from 18 million subscribers just a year ago. That number is bound to keep climbing, and quite possibly at an accelerating rate, especially if Microsoft decides that some future Call of Duty or Overwatch 3 is going to be a console exclusive. That might seem unlikely now, but Microsoft dropped the exclusivity hammer on Starfield and The Elder Scrolls 6 after it acquired Bethesda, saying that both will only be released for Xbox and PC, and there's no reason it won't do it again.

Spencer has previously said that Microsoft doesn't view Game Pass as a replacement for conventional purchases, but subscription-based gaming has clearly become a priority for the future: In December 2021, Microsoft used the high-profile showcase of the Game Awards to finally give the PC version of Game Pass a sensible name, a rebranding that not all that terribly long ago likely would have been treated as a relatively mundane bit of bookkeeping.

PlayStation maker Sony has also apparently taken notice of the popularity of Game Pass, and is reportedly working on a similar subscription offering of its own. Spencer thinks it's a good idea.

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.