Xbox Game Pass has accumulated over 25 million subscribers to date. Microsoft’s gaming subscription is home to first-party titles like Starfield and Forza Horizon 5, while third-party releases like Lies of P have joined the service in 2023.
However, Xbox Game Pass is not growing as fast as Microsoft would like. This has also been noticed by Microsoft’s rival, PlayStation. The CEO of PlayStation recently claimed that the subscription’s growth is slow, and he expected higher numbers from Xbox Game Pass.
Why it matters: The Xbox platform is currently focused on its subscription service, and Phil Spencer has previously claimed that a lack of meaningful growth to the service could force Xbox to leave the gaming industry.
An interview from last year has been recently spotted on Resetera, highlighting Jim Ryan’s opinion on PlayStation’s rival subscription service.
Previously, he had already claimed that publishers are unanimously against Microsoft’s approach to the gaming industry, and he elaborated:
“The recent number of subscribers Microsoft announced on January was 25 million. I was expecting a larger number.”
He then pointed to the amount of money Microsoft has spent on acquisitions and third-party deals for Xbox Game Pass.
Massive third-party releases like A Plague Tale: Requiem came to the subscription in 2022. Microsoft has also acquired publishers like Bethesda Softworks and Activision Blizzard, spending billions of dollars to improve its service.
However, this has not helped Microsoft increase its subscriber counts. Last year, Microsoft confirmed it had hoped to reach 35 million subscribers by 2022, yet it is still stuck at under 30 million users in 2023.
Therefore, Microsoft missed its subscriber target by a massive number last year. While Jim Ryan’s statement was made last year, the CEO of PlayStation likely holds the same opinion over a year later.
He also claimed that PS Plus has 50 million users, concluding that PlayStation’s offering is the more meaningful of the two.
Xbox Game Pass appears to be stuck at a similar number to this day, but games like Starfield are expected to mark the beginning of a massive wave of first-party titles. This could lead to a new boom for the service in 2024.
The PlayStation CEO is confident in his brand’s position in the market. However, Phil Spencer has claimed that recent releases like Starfield have been a massive success for Xbox, potentially leading to increasingly close competition between the two moving forward.
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Avinash is currently pursuing a Business degree in Australia. For more than three years, he has been working as a gaming journalist, utilizing his writing skills and love for gaming to report on the latest updates in the industry. Avinash loves to play action games like Devil May Cry and has also been mentioned on highly regarded websites, such as IGN, GamesRadar, GameRant, Dualshockers, CBR, and Gamespot.