Xbox Game Pass has been an incredible success for Microsoft since its launch a few years ago. However, its growth has not been explosive, but it has been constant. 2021 may have been the banner year that Xbox has also strived for. After reporting an exciting 18 million subscribers earlier this year, E3 2021 appears to have marked a change.
An informed source is now reporting that Xbox Game Pass has risen to between 25 and 30 million subscribers since the last official Xbox report. The report comes from Windows Central's Jez Corden, who recently spoke on the subject as part of the Xbox Two Podcast. Corden says he has "heard" that the number of Xbox Game Pass subscriptions has risen to between 25 and 30 million. When asked by his co-host about the matter, whoever says the number should be above 20, at the very least, Corden replies. He says the number is closer to 30 than 20. Since Corden doesn't provide any details on the source of it, it's unclear whether or not this updated Xbox Game Pass subscriber count is reliable. Without further confirmation or corroborating evidence, it is best to consider Cordens's reported total as rumor.
That said, the Cordens issue comes at an interesting time. A recent podcast with Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick and Xbox boss Phil Spencer featured a similar number. Zelnick, in a complementary and mocking way, said that Xbox Game Pass subscribers increased by around 30 million. After Spencer corrected it, saying that the last official number shared publicly was 18 million, Zelnick said that subscribers were much higher than that now. After Game Rant reported Zelnicks' comments to Spencer, an Xbox spokesperson offered an official statement on the matter. That statement echoed Spencer's response, as well as the official Xbox announcement earlier this year. He said, "Xbox Game Pass has over 18 million members as of January 2021." In other words, Xbox has not provided any official statement on Xbox Game Pass subscriber numbers since the beginning of this year and is unwilling to provide updated numbers in response to recent rumors and speculation.
If the rumor is true, that means Xbox Game Pass has gained at least 7 million subscribers between January and now, or at most 13 million. That's an increase of around 40-70% in nine months, compared to the four years it took to climb to 18 million in the first place. Between January and now, Xbox finalized its acquisition of Bethesda, had an exceptional E3 2021, and released Xbox Game Pass for Cloud, in addition to the continued success of the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S consoles. It's an impressive stretch, regardless of the actual numbers. Xbox Game Pass subscription.