Microsoft is quietly bringing in billions from its Netflix-like Game Pass service as subscribers top 25 million

Microsoft is quietly bringing in billions from its Netflix-like Game Pass service as subscribers top 25 million
  • Microsoft's subscription gaming service, Xbox Game Pass, has over 25 million subscribers.
  • At a minimum of $10 per month, Microsoft is bringing in a quarter billion dollars every month.

Microsoft's video game subscription service, Xbox Game Pass, has hit another milestone: It now has over 25 million monthly subscribers.

That's 7 million more monthly subscribers than the company reported a year ago in January 2021.

With a minimum subscription price of $10 per month, Microsoft is pulling in roughly $250 million every month from its video game subscription service. At that pace, Xbox Game Pass subscriptions are positioned to make approximately $4 billion between now and January 2023.

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Game Pass has been so successful with video game players because the service offers access to a large library of games on Xbox and PC platforms for a comparatively low amount of money: Monthly plans cost only $10 or $15. At that price, the subscription is worth paying even if just one game you want is on the service.

There are a few exceptions: Introductory subscriptions cost $1 for the first month, and Microsoft has offered discounted pricing in the past for subscriptions.


Even with those caveats, it's clear that Game Pass is a highly lucrative revenue stream for Microsoft — and it helps explain why the company was willing to shell out tens of billions of dollars on acquiring major game publishers like Zenimax Media and a planned acquisition of Activision valued at around $68.7 billion.

Soon after the acquisition of Zenimax Media closed, Microsoft added major games from its library to Game Pass — franchises like "DOOM" and "Wolfenstein," among others.

The Activision deal appears to be setting up for the same play: "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," Xbox head Phil Spencer said on Tuesday morning upon announcing the Activision deal, along with the updated subscriber numbers.

In the not-so-distant future, major franchises like "Call of Duty" and "Overwatch" are headed to the already popular subscription service.

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