Microsoft reveals strong growth in Xbox Live, Game Pass, and xCloud user numbers in Q3 earnings call

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During Microsoft’s FY20 Q3 earnings call earlier today, the company’s CEO, Satya Nadella, revealed that the number of active Xbox Live users has grown to nearly 90 million worldwide.

Microsoft ceased reporting on specific Xbox Live numbers back in 2019, instead opting for reporting on growth percentages which can sometimes be misleading. The reveal of an actual number suggests a growing confidence in the growth of the company’s gaming platform which is a good sign with the Xbox Series X console launching later this year.

For a sense of how much Xbox Live has grown, back in the FY16 Q4 earning report, Microsoft stated that they had reached 55 million active Xbox Live users. That’s 35 million new users in around four years. Not bad for an established service that’s been around since 2002.

Most of the growth appears to have happened over the past year though as in the FY19 Q4 report, the last time numbers were reported, Xbox Live was said to have 65 million active users.

It’s important to state, though, that these Xbox Live numbers don’t necessarily indicate a growth in Xbox One console ownership or usage as the Xbox Live service is also used in some video games such as Minecraft which can be played on Sony’s PlayStation 4, the Nintendo Switch, and on mobile devices. Ori and the Blind Forest, which launched on the Nintendo Switch recently, likely increased Xbox Live numbers a bit as perhaps did the free-to-play Microsoft Solitaire and Gears Pop titles which are now available on iOS and Android smartphones and tablets.

Xbox Game Pass numbers were also published in the FY20 Q3 report with the video game subscription service now sporting over 10 million individual subscribers across the Console, PC, and Ultimate variants. This is the first time Xbox Game Pass subscriber numbers have been released which also suggests strong confidence in this relatively new initiative as well.

Specific numbers weren’t released for the Project xCloud game streaming service, which is understandable as it’s still in testing, but there are apparently hundreds of thousands of users already using it.

Overall, Xbox content and services revenue is said to have increased 2% this past quarter.

For details on the rest of Microsoft’s FY20 Q3 earnings and how they were affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, check out our coverage here and then follow us on Twitter for more Microsoft and Xbox news.