Xbox Game Pass Subscriber Growth Declines Significantly This Year

Microsoft saw huge success last year with its Xbox Game Pass subscriptions no doubt largely thanks to social distancing regulations amid the COVID-19 pandemic, but as the world begins to recover, the company has been hit with a massive decrease in subscriber growth.

According to a new financial statement from the tech and gaming giant, Xbox Game Pass subscription numbers grew by just 37.5% over the course of 2021, falling significantly short of the originally expected 47.8%. The figures look even more dire when compared to last year’s performance, which saw almost 86% growth despite a 71% internal target.

While the relaxation of social distancing rules may have played a part in the decline in subscription rates, IGN points out that the main appeal of Xbox Game Pass is day-one access to first-party titles, which due to COVID-19’s impact on development and production has been reduced to just Age of Empires remasters, Microsoft Flight Simulator and Psychonauts 2 this year. Massive AAA titles such as Halo Infinite and Age of Empires 4 have all been delayed.

At the same time, while Microsoft has been struggling, Sony has triumphed with its PlayStation 5, which recently became the best-selling console in the U.S., ending a 33-month reign by the Nintendo Switch.

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