It's no secret that Game Pass has been a major priority for Microsoft's gaming division lately, as it seems to be doing everything possible to entice players to join, like offering dirt-cheap trials or putting some of its flagship games on the service on release day. Yet, it seems it isn't hitting its targeted growth numbers, according to a financial filing spotted by Stephen Totilo of Axios. For the fiscal year from Q3 2020 to Q2 2021, Game Pass subscriber numbers grew by 37%, falling short of Microsoft's target number of 48%. By contrast, for the 2019-2020 fiscal year, the service grew by 86%, exceeding the target of 71%. Interestingly, no specific subscriber numbers have been given since January, when CEO Satya Nadella revealed on an earnings call that the service had reached 18 million users.
It's also worth noting that Game Pass subscriber numbers are included in the executive's payment plans, meaning all top executives, including Nadella, receive stock bonuses if certain target numbers are hit. Game Pass' subscriber count is the only pure gaming metric on the list, and sits alongside other priorities for Microsoft, such as target numbers for LinkedIn or Microsoft Teams usage.