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Xbox Game Pass subscribers hit 18 million

Xbox Game Pass subscribers hit 18 million


Microsoft’s Netflix for video games continues to grow

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The Xbox logo (a white sphere with an X through it) against a dark green background.
Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

Microsoft is continuing to attract people to its Xbox Game Pass service. The “Netflix for video games” service now has 18 million subscribers, up from the 15 million previously reported in September. Xbox Game Pass is a subscription service that offers access to a growing selection of more than 100 Xbox games for $9.99 per month.

Microsoft has been pushing Xbox Game Pass for more than a year now, and it’s clear the company is heavily invested in its future. Bungie’s Destiny 2 title appeared on Xbox Game Pass late last year, and Control is also available on the service for both Xbox and PC.

On an earnings call today, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella also revealed that Xbox Live has more than 100 million monthly active users. Nadella also said the launch of the Xbox Series X and S was the most successful in Microsoft’s history, with “the most devices ever sold in a launch month.”

Microsoft also appears to be focused on studio acquisitions to bolster the content available on Game Pass. Microsoft’s ZeniMax Media acquisition, the parent company of Doom and Fallout studio Bethesda Softworks, is a big deal that will boost Xbox Game Pass in the future.

There have also been a variety of promotions designed to entice consumers into Xbox Game Pass. Microsoft regularly offers the first month of the service for $1 and has been incentivizing Xbox Live Gold customers to switch over to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, which includes the company’s new xCloud game streaming feature. Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscribers also now get a month of Disney Plus for free, alongside other benefits.

Controversially, Microsoft recently planned to increase its Xbox Live Gold cost in a move that was widely interpreted as an effort to push people into Xbox Game Pass. Microsoft was quick to reverse its decision, and Xbox Live Gold prices will remain the same for now. Free-to-play games will also no longer require an Xbox Live Gold subscription.