Microsoft has spent the last few years beefing up its subscription-based Game Pass service, and gobbling up game publishers has given it a lot of content to include. The company is currently trying to absorb Activision Blizzard, but regulators have some tough questions. Microsoft has provided reams of data to justify the acquisition. That includes filings that reveal how much it’s making on Game Pass, and it’s probably more than you’d expect.
Most government regulators are still hemming and hawing over the proposed deal, but Brazil’s Administrative Council for Economic Defense (CADE) has granted its approval. CADE released a public document detailing its justification, and it includes some new financial data on Microsoft’s Xbox operation — it doesn’t include any data on Microsoft’s PC gaming business.
According to the newly released data, Microsoft’s total Xbox revenues in 2021 were a little over $16 billion. Of that, $12.5 billion were for games and services. Digging deeper, the data shows $2.9 billion of that revenue was Game Pass, with the remaining $9.68 billion coming from other types of content and subscriptions. That puts Game Pass at about 18 percent of Microsoft’s total Xbox earnings, according to TweakTown.
Game Pass comes in several flavors, starting at $10 per month for a console subscription that grants access to a library of over 100 installable games. There’s a PC version for the same price. The $15 per month Ultimate subscription covers consoles, PC, and mobile devices via cloud streaming.
These CADE revenue numbers are already about a year old, and Game Pass could be doing even better now. In early 2022, Microsoft said it had reached 25 million Game Pass subscribers, but its numbers in 2021 were several million lower. Things could continue improving, too. There weren’t many new titles arriving on Game Pass earlier this year, but Microsoft’s quest to acquire more studios means a steady stream of content. The cloud gaming side of Game Pass is also seeing less competition now with the shutdown of Google’s Stadia service. Microsoft promises its first-party titles will debut on Game Pass as soon as they are released. That guarantee will only get more appealing if Microsoft can seal the Activision Blizzard deal.