Microsoft falls short of Xbox Game Pass subscription growth target for FY21

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Xbox Game Pass xCloudSource: Jez Corden | Windows Central

Xbox Game Pass grew by 37.48% in Microsoft’s 2021 fiscal year, but the gaming subscription’s growth fell short of Microsoft’s targets. According to a recent SEC filing, Microsoft had a target of 47.79% growth in FY21 (via Axios). Microsoft’s 2021 fiscal year ended on June 30, 2021.

While Microsoft’s Xbox Game Pass grew by 37.47% between mid-2020 and mid-2021, that growth rate falls significantly below the same metric between mid-2019 and mid-2020. Xbox Game Pass grew by 85.75% in FY2020. That difference is due in part to Xbox Game Pass being newer in the 2020 fiscal year, as reflected by Microsoft’s lower FY21 target of 47.79%.

The growth rate of Xbox Game Pass subscribers is one of the only concrete metrics that Microsoft shares about its game subscription service. The last time Microsoft confirmed the total number of Xbox Game Pass subscribers was back in January 2021 (18 million).

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The growth of Xbox Game Pass subscribers is one of the performance goals for top executives at Microsoft. If the company hits these targets over a three-year period, the executives receive additional stock.

Microsoft has added a steady stream of games to Xbox Game Pass since its launch, but many original titles are still on the horizon. Microsoft’s game studio acquisitions will take time to bear fruit, which may bolster Xbox Game Pass’ subscriber count.

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