The Activision-Blizzard acquisition by Microsoft has been approved by Brazilian competition authority CADE, and the final opinion documents give us new insight on the performance of Xbox Game Pass. We now know that in 2021, Microsoft made $2.9 billion in revenue from the Xbox Game Pass service. Our thanks to TweakTown, who reported on this news first.
Microsoft confirmed in January that Xbox Game Pass subscribers had reached 25 million, a seven million subscriber increase from the year prior with 18 million. The service has seemingly been a success for Microsoft, who are playing the long game with their subscription service. Growth has been constant ever since the first figures were released in April 2020, when the subscriber count was confirmed to be over 10 million.
The CADE case which the Xbox Game Pass earnings figures came from has been a source of other interesting information too. In August we learned that the Xbox One sold less than half of the PS4’s total sales, as Microsoft defended itself from acquisition scrutiny by pointing out how much market dominance Sony has. Microsoft’s defence seems to have worked, as CADE went on to approve of the acquisition.
Microsoft has tried to ease fears that their acquisition of Call of Duty with the Activision-Blizzard sale will not result in the loss of the massively popular shooter series on PlayStation consoles, offering a deal to Sony to keep the games around on the system for a few years longer. This is a deal that PlayStation CEO Jim Ryan has described as “inadequate”.
Whilst the Activision-Blizzard acquisition is still being reviewed across the world, the approval of Saudi Arabia and now Brazil put Microsoft one step closer to securing the sale. We will be sure to report on further approvals and challenges.
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