How much money does Xbox Game Pass make?

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How much Xbox Game Pass actually makes is a subject of much speculation when talking about Microsoft’s gaming business model. Analysts and pundits speculate that in order for Microsoft to offer the kind of content and perks that it does through the service, it must be spending truckloads of money.

The subscription service makes headlines for adding high-profile releases, fan favorite franchises and cult classics to its library and to a lesser extent, the perks that come with Game Pass Ultimate. By offering thousands of dollars’ worth of value for $10 to $15 a month, Xbox Game Pass is almost hard to believe.

Microsoft touts the success of the service quite often, so it has to be pulling in a lot of money to justify what must surely be a huge amount of cash that the company spends to keep it going. And now thanks to some new information, we have a glimpse at roughly how much Game Pass is actually making.

This new information comes to us via filings made by Microsoft on behalf of its bid to acquire Activision Blizzard, a deal that is subject to much scrutiny in different markets across the world. Already the Competition and Markets Authority in the UK has raised concerns over the deal.

Over in Brazil however, the Administrative Council for Economic Defense (CADE) has concluded that the Call of Duty franchise, which Microsoft would gain control over, is not essential to competition against it and Xbox. CADE’s approval was outlined in a public document that included data on Sony, Nintendo and Microsoft.

The information was spotted by Tweaktown, which shows that Xbox Game Pass generated $2.9 billion in the fiscal year of 2021 and Xbox gaming as whole generated a total of $16.28 billion. This is information that Microsoft hasn’t made public previously but is required to argue its case before regulatory bodies like CADE.

These figures mean that Xbox Game Pass revenue accounts for 18% of Microsoft’s revenue from gaming for the fiscal year of 2021, notes Tweaktown. Take note that this figure only includes console users, as PC Game Pass is not accounted for. There’s also plenty of information that remains shrouded by this figure, such as whether it includes in-app purchases and microtransactions for games that are on the service, or whether it simply represents subscription revenue across Xbox Game Pass and its Ultimate tier.

And while this figure shows us that there is some serious bank being made through the subscription service, how much Microsoft is spending to generate that revenue remains a mystery. Which means we only have part of the equation necessary to determine how sustainable Xbox Game Pass is, the other question that pundits frequently ask about the service.