Xbox owners are truly spoilt for choice with the luxury of Xbox Game Pass. From indie gems to gigantic blockbuster titles like Indiana Jones and The Great Circle coming to its library, it is a no-brainer subscription to acquire. Millions of Xbox players feel the same way, as new findings estimate that Microsoft is entertaining beyond 30 million Xbox Game Pass subscribers.
Speaking to IGN in a report about the past, present, and future of Xbox Game Pass, Omdia senior games analyst James McWhirter claims that “our forecast estimates total Xbox Game Pass subscriptions to be at 33.3 million at the end of 2023, which represents subscriber growth of just 13%, [which is] down from 15% in 2022.” This estimation doesn’t include other tiers like Xbox Game Pass Core, but it does indicate that the Ultimate tier is dominating.
Furthermore, McWhirter expresses that around 55% of Xbox players “are currently on the device-agnostic Ultimate tier.” With appealing additions to EA Play included with Ultimate, the added benefit of utilizing PC Game Pass is another reason to step up your subscription choice. Features like Xbox Play Anywhere apply to many of the best Xbox Game Pass games out there, allowing players to pick up their saves, irrespective of the platform they choose to continue playing on.
However, despite the promising rise of Game Pass memberships, McWhirter claims that the rate of new subscriptions is slowing down, as opposed to gaining momentum. “We’re seeing slowing adoption of Xbox Game Pass even though Microsoft will claim otherwise thanks to the repositioning of Xbox Live Gold as Xbox Game Pass Core,” McWhirter explains.
Despite launching enormous games like Starfield, Forza Motorsport, and the ill-fated Redfall, these releases may not be panning out as lucratively as Microsoft expected. Redfall’s disastrous launch state and period of radio silence didn’t help the Arkane title recover, even if the game has introduced highly requested features like a Performance Mode. Starfield was met generally with critical acclaim upon release, with our review awarding the space RPG a solid 8/10 rating.
Nevertheless, public reception to Starfield faltered toward the end of 2023, with The Game Awards showing a distinct lack of accolades for it. 2024 is looking considerably brighter, though. The recent Xbox Developer Direct gave us a look at Indiana Jones and the Great Circle, which is headed to Xbox Game Pass on day one. Another success story for Xbox Game Pass is Palworld, which is already shattering records.