Microsoft reveals how much money Xbox Game Pass makes

One thing about mergers and acquisitions is that certain details about each party may be leaked as a result of financial disclosures during antitrust audits by various regulators. Brazil recently gave the green light to Microsoft’s planned $68.7 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard. In a report explaining its reasons for unanimously approving the deal, the Defense Financial Services Board revealed a particularly juicy detail for Microsoft: how much it earns from Xbox Game Pass.

As he spotted TweakTown, the report notes that Microsoft generated $2.9 billion in worldwide revenue from Xbox Game Pass on consoles last year. This number does not include PC Game Pass. It’s not clear here either how Game Pass Ultimate revenue is generated. However, Xbox Game Pass subscribers exceeded 25 million last year.

Xbox Game Pass accounted for 18% of Xbox’s total revenue last year ($16.3 billion) and 23% of Microsoft’s games and services revenue ($12.6 billion). The number is a drop in the bucket compared to Microsoft’s total revenue of $184.9 billion for the 2021 calendar year — Xbox Game Pass accounted for just over 1.5% of the company’s total revenue during that period . (Microsoft’s fiscal year runs from July to June.)

For what it’s worth, the report notes that Xbox Game Pass generated $60 million in revenue from Brazil in 2021.

Curiously, the report also details “multi-game subscription services for consoles” (per Google Translate) for Nintendo and Electronic Arts. It pegs them at $932 million for Nintendo Switch Online in 2021 and $356 million for Electronic Arts (presumably EA Play) on consoles.

Sony cites a table that includes these figures, but doesn’t give a dollar value for how much it made from PlayStation Plus and the defunct PlayStation Now last year. However, the report suggested that Xbox Game Pass accounted for 30-40% of console game subscription revenue between the four companies, while Sony had 40-50% of that market. Back-of-the-envelope math suggests that Sony generated as much as $4.2 billion from PS Plus and PS Now last year.

Fascinating stuff any way you slice it. It remains to be seen how much Activision Blizzard’s introduction to the pass will boost Xbox Game Pass revenue, though that publisher is shifting its focus to microtransaction revenue these days anyway.

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Meanwhile, it will be several more months before we know if the Microsoft-Activision Blizzard deal will actually be completed. The companies still need approval from regulators in key markets, including the US and the UK

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