Microsoft's bid for Activision Blizzard may be the highlight of the day, but the company also revealed a major milestone for its Game Pass service in the process. The all-you-can-play offering now has over 25 million subscribers, a nearly 39 percent jump over the 18 million it had a year earlier. The company didn't say how many of those customers were using the service on Xbox consoles, Windows PCs or both.
It's a significant figure for the service, if not as big as the company would have liked. As Axios noted, Microsoft missed its Game Pass growth target for the fiscal year that ended in June 2021 — it hoped for a 48 percent year-over-year jump in members, but 'only' managed 37 percent. While this was still strong and preceded the release of Halo Infinite, the company is clearly eager to improve Game Pass' performance.
That, in turn, explains one of the reasons for the Activision Blizzard deal. Microsoft has made clear that it intends to offer Activision Blizzard games through Game Pass. The $10 or more you're asked to pay each month might become far more compelling if you know you'll always have the latest Call of Duty or World of Warcraft release on top of Game Pass' other titles. Although the merger might not complete until 2023, it could preserve Game Pass' momentum and help fend off looming competition from Sony.