According to a financial document filed by Microsoft last week and spotted by Axios, the number of Xbox Game Pass subscribers grew by 37.48% during the 12 months ended on June 30, but the company had targeted an increase of 47.79%.
In Microsoft’s previous fiscal year ended June 30, 2020, Xbox Game Pass subscribers grew 85.75%, outperforming the company’s goal of a 71% increase.
The subscriber growth target is one of several performance goals (although the only pure gaming one) tied to top Microsoft execs’ stock compensation.
“For competitive reasons,” Microsoft’s filing reads, “targets and results are expressed in terms of year over year growth” rather than actual subscriber numbers.
Xbox Game Pass launched in June 2017 and has become central to Microsoft’s gaming business, attracting over 18 million subscribers as of January 2021, according to the latest publicly announced figure.
The service offers members access to over 100 titles, including all first-party games at launch, for $10 / £8 per month on console or PC. For $15 / £11, users can access the games on console, PC and mobile devices, including via Xbox Cloud Gaming.
During Microsoft’s fourth quarter earnings call in July, CEO Satya Nadella claimed Xbox Games Pass was “growing rapidly”, with subscribers playing approximately 40% more games and spending 50% more than non-members.
In September, Microsoft cut the price of Xbox Game Pass and Xbox Live Gold subscriptions in Chile, Hong Kong and Israel “based on local market conditions”.