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Xbox Game Pass Tops 34 Million Subscribers, Diablo IV Headed to Game Pass on March 28

Xbox Game Pass Tops 34 Million Subscribers, Diablo IV Headed to Game Pass on March 28 - News

by William D'Angelo , posted on 15 February 2024 / 5,158 Views

Xbox has announced Xbox Game Pass has surpassed 34 million subscribers and Activision Blizzard games will start releasing soon on Xbox Game Pass.

The first Activision Blizzard game to release on Xbox Game Pass will be Diablo IV on March 28.

"There will be even more to play as we begin to fulfill our commitment to offer Activision and Blizzard games with Game Pass, both new releases and classic games from its legendary catalog," reads an Xbox Wire Post.

"We’re happy to share that Diablo IV will be available to play by the 34 million Game Pass subscribers on both PC and Xbox consoles beginning March 28! This is only the start of Xbox players being able to enjoy Activision and Blizzard games on Game Pass – we look forward to sharing more soon."

Microsoft Gaming CEO Phil Spencer in an interview with Game File (via VideoGamesChronicle) revealed the 34 million subscribers are "fully paid" and don't include "promotional players."

Spencer added the number of people who had Xbox Live Gold, but not Game Pass was a "pretty small number. The growth has more to do with PC and the cloud rather than the rebranding of Xbox Live Gold to Game pass Core.

"When there's a fixed number of console players on the planet you're not going to grow Game Pass forever by shipping just on consoles," said Spencer. "So we're seeing really significant growth on PC, which is great, and cloud."


A life-long and avid gamer, William D'Angelo was first introduced to VGChartz in 2007. After years of supporting the site, he was brought on in 2010 as a junior analyst, working his way up to lead analyst in 2012 and taking over the hardware estimates in 2017. He has expanded his involvement in the gaming community by producing content on his own YouTube channel and Twitch channel. You can contact the author on Twitter @TrunksWD.


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68 Comments
G2ThaUNiT (on 15 February 2024)

Booty's pretty definitive "All of our games will go into Game Pass on day one" seems to flat out say that CoD will in fact be on Game Pass at launch. There was some skepticism on whether or not that would be the case.

Don't care about CoD at all but that would be a pretty massive boost to GP.

  • +9
JRPGfan G2ThaUNiT (on 16 February 2024)

Lets see if the next CoD sales data is impacted. I'm assumeing atleast some of those already subbed Gamepass users, are CoD fans (since xbox is known as the shooter box), and would previously have bought said game. If this next time, its suddenly selling alot less, that will be down to gamepass.

  • +4
EpicRandy JRPGfan (on 19 February 2024)

Yes of course pure sales will be impacted, but in that context, sales would only be 1 facet of Cod's financial health, you would then have to measure GamePass Growth and player retention caused by such addition to see the whole picture.

  • -1
trunkswd (on 15 February 2024)

I've updated the article with an interview from Phil Spencer with Game File stating the 34 million subscribers are "fully paid" and don't include "promotional players." Plus the growth has more to do with PC and the cloud rather than the rebranding of Xbox Live Gold to Game pass Core. Not many people had Xbox Live Gold, but not Game Pass.

  • +8
twintail trunkswd (on 15 February 2024)

The Verge is reporting that these numbers include all those Xbox live gold that were automatically converted to Core.

Which seems to indicate that there hasn't been any significant growth from the original GP usetbase at all. l

  • +5
Imaginedvl twintail (on 15 February 2024)

They are still fully paid tho. So it is still 34m paying users. Yes growth is def. Not that big but I think it is expected at this point. It will go slower and slower.

  • -2
twintail Imaginedvl (on 15 February 2024)

They were paying customers when it was xblg. There's no additional payment for Core that I can see.

So what's the change besides saying that GP numbers are bigger?

If we're seeing these core members upgrade, then sure that's a benefit.

Otherwise, the revenue they got from xblg and GP separated is still the same with both combined.

  • +2
Imaginedvl twintail (on 15 February 2024)

Im not saying anything different, and I said that the growth is not that big. But they still have 35m users and that’s very good no matter what and it is still growing even if slowly . Not sure what your response’s point is….

  • 0
twintail Imaginedvl (on 16 February 2024)

I misread what you wrote, that's on me. Sorry.

  • 0
DonFerrari twintail (on 19 February 2024)

Actually from some reports seems like it could even have 1 to 2M drop (possibly from people that have both Gold and GP).

  • +1
Imaginedvl DonFerrari (on 19 February 2024)

That would actually make sense. I mean again the total is what's important but yes, people having Xbox Live Gold and standard GamePass probably did that, so the drop makes sense.

  • 0
Dulfite (on 15 February 2024)

Some have it for less than $10 a month due to deals, some have it at $15 a month, so let's just split that down the middle to $10 a month. That's $340,000,000 in monthly revenue or $4.08 billion in annual revenue from Gamepass.

Edit - Since the fully paid comment by Phil, I'm adjusting these to be between $11-17 now, so we will split difference at 13 to be conservative. That's a minimum of $442 million a month and $5.3 billion a year.

  • +8
Imaginedvl Dulfite (on 15 February 2024)

yah... They are making some gold out of this :D

  • +4
trunkswd Dulfite (on 15 February 2024)

Actually Xbox Game Pass is $11, Ultimate is $17, and PC is $10 per month. Though I do see the price to continue to go up with Activision Blizzard games coming to the service.

  • +6
Dulfite trunkswd (on 15 February 2024)

So my numbers are even more conservative than I thought. Probably making $5 billion minimum annually right now off GP.

  • +2
trunkswd Dulfite (on 15 February 2024)

Yeah that is more likely. We shall see what Call of Duty on Game Pass does.

  • +6
hellobion2 trunkswd (on 15 February 2024)

Looking forward to that with COD i might give game pass a chance again.

  • +1
Gettysburg4 Dulfite (on 16 February 2024)

A lot of subscribers exist because they converted Gold and/or purchased up to 3 years Gamepass in advance when it was at a cheaper price. Others, even in Western nations purchase their gamepass credits from cheap international destinations, such as Turkey, Brazil and India where the monthly cost is only a few dollars, not $10USD. As such $10USD per account is likely much closer to the truth than a higher number, and it may even be below that.

  • +2
scrapking Gettysburg4 (on 16 February 2024)

That definitely happens, but I doubt that it's "a lot". Most people don't have the time or inclination to jump through hoops to save a few dollars a month. My bet is it is a small percentage of subscribers.

Even smaller are people like me who pay nothing, using Microsoft Rewards to renew. :)

  • 0
DonFerrari scrapking (on 19 February 2024)

In Brazil Eneba, account sharing, etc is a big plague =p

  • 0
EnricoPallazzo Dulfite (on 15 February 2024)

While 4 Billion is nice, we need to consider all the costs involved to bring third party games for it, the costs of development of first party games and the sales they are "losing" for not having all these people properly buying the games as before. I still dont think the math here is good for microsoft. Maybe when they reach 100M subscribers.

  • +5
Mnementh EnricoPallazzo (on 15 February 2024)

Actually... if high profile AAA games cost about 500M$ right now (which seems to be the case for the most expensive ones), and you release 3 of them each year, that is 1.5 billion $. Take another 500M$ for smaller titles (Grounded, HiFi-Rush and so on) and you have a full first party development covered by 2 billion. Another billion for 3rd-party and you get Gamepass up and running, have fully financed your first-party devs and that isn't even accounting for sales of these games outside of Gamepass. With number like these Gamepass is indeed sustainable.

  • -2
Pemalite EnricoPallazzo (on 15 February 2024)

Microsoft is a company that is valued at over $3 trillion dollars.

...And they have been undone by a forum members math.

The point of subscription services isn't to have the most revenue, it's to lock users into an ecosystem and then use the tactic of "upselling" to garner additional revenue.

  • +1
The Fury Pemalite (on 16 February 2024)

Sub services are the easiest to leave. Locked store fronts and digital ownerships are the hardest.

What they want is games exclusive and locked to GP to feel locked into an ecosystem, at the moment, they don't offer that. This is why many people stick to Steam for much of their game purchases, because they already have loads on there so they continue on. GP is just rental, who cares if you sub one month then not the next, you never owned the game anyway so aren't locked in.

  • +6
Vizigoth04 EnricoPallazzo (on 15 February 2024)

Probably cheaper here just to buy the games versus make them
Though.

  • 0
Garrus EnricoPallazzo (on 15 February 2024)

the goal of game pass is to get to 10 billion per year and max out your subscriber growth

then like Netflix price hike it to double profit

  • +1
Imaginedvl Garrus (on 15 February 2024)

lol the number of market experts coming up with what is the goal of GamePass on internet forums are frightening some time :)

  • 0
Garrus Imaginedvl (on 15 February 2024)

i'm just saying they are doing what Netflix did, growth, then raise prices when you saturate the market

simple stuff here, silly

  • +2
EnricoPallazzo Garrus (on 16 February 2024)

agree, hence why I said math is not looking good. I believe they need to reach a much higher number of subscribers to match all the investment made on buying studios and paying for games to come over to game pass.
but once they do it then things get much better, eventually they may be able to rely only on first party games and avoiding having to spend with third party, also other revenue streams opens up once you have such a huge number of subscribers. People get "used" to your service which helps when others release something alike.
but again, for that, I believe they would need to reach a much larger number of subscribers.

  • 0
Garrus EnricoPallazzo (on 17 February 2024)

Xbox has now said not coming to iPhone not coming to PS

they are not concerned about game pass, it is no longer their only focus

straight from Phil's mouth, so yeah, game pass "failed" to dominate and it will just stay where it is, a PART of the business

that's why more third parties are coming

  • -2
Tober Dulfite (on 15 February 2024)

This is assuming pricing is the same across the world.

In my country you can get Gamepass for EUR6,99. Which includes value added tax.

Anecdotally sure, but I don't think we can use US MSRP price times worldwide subscriber numbers.

  • +1
hellobion2 Tober (on 15 February 2024)

Yes pricing does change what the final profit number is going to be. Case in point steam game prices vary by country.

  • 0
DekutheEvilClown Dulfite (on 15 February 2024)

It’s still “nearly $1b a quarter” according to financial releases last year so you don’t really need to do calculations.

  • 0
Esparadrapo DekutheEvilClown (on 15 February 2024)

And taking in mind the "over 1 billion spent in third parties" the whole thing is lackluster to say the least.

  • +1
trunkswd Esparadrapo (on 15 February 2024)

I believe the $1B spent on third parties is for an entire year, while it generates around $4B per year in revenue.

  • 0
Esparadrapo trunkswd (on 15 February 2024)

Yep.

  • 0
Dallinor trunkswd (on 16 February 2024)

Phil said its around15% of revenue end of 2022
so around $2.2 billion. They were at 25 million subs by Jan of that year. Lowballing it, say they only reached 28 million by years end. So only an extra say 7-8 million subs but they nearly double their total revenue? Something wildly off with those figures.

  • 0
VAMatt Dallinor (on 17 February 2024)

Low price subs expiring, new subs at higher price?

  • 0
Esparadrapo Dulfite (on 15 February 2024)

It's confirmed that the 11.7 million Xbox LIVE Gold users were added to GP Core and it's accounted for the 34 million figure so you might wanna lower that estimate.

  • +4
Jumpinbeans Dulfite (on 15 February 2024)

$5billion - man that is a laughable figure. Hell it's going to take them about 12years of total GP revenue (before you strip out the costs) just to cover the cost of ABK.....and within 12years gaming like we know it will be a completely different beast. There is only 1 thing that I can guarentee we will be doing gaming wise in 12 years and that's playing GTA6 on its 3rd or 4th release.

  • -3
EnricoPallazzo Jumpinbeans (on 16 February 2024)

Thats not how it works, ABK is an asset, they do not need to "recover" the investment. It is an asset that already produces profits with or without xbox. Which cna be sold for other companies in the future if they decide to do it. What they look for is "how much is my profitability and return over this asset I just bought". And of course how it can generate synergies with other microsoft products to boos the company revenue/profits.

  • 0
Garrus Dulfite (on 15 February 2024)

To put this in to perspective, Nintendo's annual revenue is 12 billion now (compared with 17 billion 15 years ago when they had a home console).

If game pass hits 12 billion, it would start to exceed Nintendo. That's Microsoft's goal, to have Game Pass alone be huge.

  • -5
Zyphe Garrus (on 15 February 2024)

Its revenue. Not profit. Nobody wins over Nintendo over profits compared to the 2.

  • +3
Garrus Zyphe (on 17 February 2024)

no, Nintendo profits on 12 billion are not higher than on 18 billion jesus

  • -4
DonFerrari Zyphe (on 19 February 2024)

Well until mid life of Switch I'm pretty sure PS had higher profit than Nintendo (maybe not higher margin though).

  • 0
kazuyamishima (on 15 February 2024)

FYI, Gamepass Core members are included in this number.

  • +5
Imaginedvl kazuyamishima (on 15 February 2024)

That's pretty obvious... Why would they (or would we) not include them? It makes no sense

  • -1
DekutheEvilClown Imaginedvl (on 15 February 2024)

It does mean the 25m number and this number are not using the same criteria though, so can’t be directly compared

  • +2
hellobion2 kazuyamishima (on 15 February 2024)

Am i the onely one that misses xbox live gold for some reason.

  • 0
Vengeance1138 (on 15 February 2024)

Yikes! That growth is slooooooowwww... maybe 50M in what? Next 10yrs?

  • +3
shikamaru317 Vengeance1138 (on 15 February 2024)

All ABK games are about to hit Gamepass, including CoD 2024 day one. Growth will definitely see a significant uptick from day one CoD releases.

  • 0
hellobion2 Vengeance1138 (on 15 February 2024)

Mabey 150 million with doubling of population and more gamers playing mobile. And I am thinking games pass is going more mobile with cloud gaming.

  • 0
The Fury (on 16 February 2024)

A year after makes sense. This should be what they are doing anyway, there is no profit on making big budget games and releasing them for $15, sub service or not.

I hope GP subs get a free battle pass too (something that shouldn't even be in D4 but still).

  • +2
hellobion2 (on 15 February 2024)

Diablo 4 is an alright game and surprised by teh number of people that are into game pass

  • 0
Manlytears (on 15 February 2024)

Hum... above my expectations.

  • 0
DonFerrari Manlytears (on 19 February 2024)

Why? Sum previously reported GP with Gold numbers were higher than 34M (almost 2 years ago), so why would you expect lower GP total than this?

  • 0
Yassgragra (on 16 February 2024)

Those are some pretty solid GP numbers! And I'm stoked to get a chance to play D4!

  • -1
LivncA_Dis3 (on 16 February 2024)

Bombshell announcement

  • -2
tslog (on 15 February 2024)

Been saying for years that Subscription services are profitable. Sony is fully lying when they say it isn't viable for 1st party.
The biggest reason that Gamepass isn't way bigger is simply because Xbox has totally failed bringing a seriously big game to Gamepass due to their incompetence. When big desirable big games day 1-7 release on Gamepass only then will we see how successful that intended model will be.

  • -2
EspadaGrim tslog (on 16 February 2024)

its not viable for Sony because their AAA budgets are insane, 200 million isn't the norm right now for most AAA studios and Sony's budgets are now starting to exceed 300 million with a 5-6 year dev time which is over half of an entire console generation.

  • +2
DekutheEvilClown EspadaGrim (on 17 February 2024)

Halo: Infinite was most likely $500m and Starfield almost certainly over $200m at the very least.

  • -1
DonFerrari tslog (on 19 February 2024)

It is not viable to have it day 1, not to that it isn't viable at all. It is just number crushing. Sony have close to 50M subs while xbox have about 34M subs, sales of the titles launched on GP lose a lot of sales of their 1st party, Sony doesn't. That is added money.

  • 0
Esparadrapo (on 15 February 2024)

That's just sad. It's likely to be cramped in 2022 and 2023 completely flat.

  • -7
jvmkdg (on 15 February 2024)

When all Call of Duty hits GamePass it will have 50 million subscribers. The era of exclusives is over soon, Nintendo will put its games on Steam. PC Master race

  • -8
Ayla jvmkdg (on 15 February 2024)

Agreed.

  • -8
Imaginedvl jvmkdg (on 15 February 2024)

haha this will never happen :) And if it does, I, for one, will still be buying the Nintendo console to play them anyway :D

  • -1
hellobion2 jvmkdg (on 15 February 2024)

Hmm mabey in twenty years

  • 0
TheLegendaryBigBoss jvmkdg (on 15 February 2024)

No need, just use yuzu! But yeah officially would be nice.

  • 0