Microsoft's bet on subscription gaming appears to be paying off. The company has revealed that more than 10 million people now pay for Xbox Game Pass, a buffet-style service with an ever-changing library of first- and third-party titles. Microsoft launched the platform for Xbox console owners back in June 2017. An equivalent offer for PC gamers -- appropriately called Xbox Game Pass for PC -- was released in open beta two years later. Right now, you can pay for the two individually -- the console version is $9.99 per month, while the PC service is $4.99 per month -- or combine them both with Xbox Live Gold for $14.99 per month.
In a blog post, Xbox chief Phil Spencer explained how Game Pass is helping people during the coronavirus pandemic. Subscribers are playing "twice as much" as they did before March, he said, and have collectively added 23 million friends on Xbox Live. "Which is a 70 percent growth in friendship rate," Spencer added. In addition, multiplayer sessions tied to Game Pass have risen by 130 percent. The platform’s vast library is encouraging players to try different games, too. According to Spencer, 90 percent of subscribers have played something they wouldn't have tried otherwise, and 40 percent are playing more titles than they did before owning Game Pass.