Xbox Game Pass Now Has 34 Million “Fully Paid” Subscribers

Including folks on Xbox Game Pass Core.

Update: Microsoft has since confirmed that, despite some confusing messaging in its Official Xbox Podcast episode this morning, Diablo IV won’t be coming to all of the 34 million current Game Pass subscribers, with those on the Game Pass Core tier missing out.

“Diablo IV is coming to Xbox Game Pass on March 28th, with the exception of the Xbox Game Pass Core catalog,” says Kari Perez, head of communications for Xbox, in a statement to The Verge.

Today saw the arrival of Xbox’s big “business update,” which Microsoft revealed via a special episode of the Official Xbox Podcast featuring Phil Spencer, Sarah Bond and Matt Booty. The podcast came as something of a reaction to a sudden explosion of rumours of a new multiplatform strategy for Microsoft’s gaming business and has finally provided something in the way of answers.

As part of a companion piece for the announcements, Game File journalist Stephen Totilo also spoke to Phil Spencer ahead of the podcast, adding some extra context around some of the conversation. One point brought up is in regards to the launch of Activision Blizzards’ Diablo 4 into Game Pass on March 28th, which the team announced by saying the game would arrive to an audience of 34 million subscribers.

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Totilo digs into that number with Spencer in the interview, questioning whether that’s a bit of smoke and mirrors with regards to people playing on trial or promotional memberships and that inflating the number. Spencer confirms that’s not the case, saying, “That’s fully paid. So those are not promotional players. Those are people, fully paid subs.”

But while those 34 million players are all genuine, paying subscribers, it does include folks subscribed to Xbox Game Pass Core, which is the refreshed tier that outright replaced Xbox Live Gold last year, meaning that Microsoft has essentially rolled all of its previously Gold-only audience into that figure.

Spencer stresses that those subscribers represent “a pretty small number” though, and attributes most of its recent Game Pass growth to players on PC and Xbox Cloud Gaming, saying, “When there’s a fixed number of console players on the planet you’re not going to grow Game Pass forever by shipping just on consoles. So we’re seeing really significant growth on PC, which is great, and cloud.”

You can read the full interview here and watch this morning’s Official Xbox Podcast below: