Sony claims Xbox Game Pass has reached 29 million subscribers

As Microsoft tries to complete its acquisition of Activision Blizzard, the UK government is moving ahead with its acquisition investigating the deal. In a statement highlighting concerns about competition in the industry, Sony released its own observations on the deal – including some interesting Game Pass numbers.

Sony’s official response sketches as spotted by @EvernbornSagathe company’s concerns about Microsoft’s “ability and incentive to reduce current and future competition in multi-game subscription services” reported in the CMAs (Competition and Markets Authority) refer decision.

As part of Sony’s observation, already published in Octoberit claims:

“Game Pass clearly leads PlayStation Plus. Microsoft already has a significant lead in multi-game subscription services. Game Pass has 29 million Xbox Game Pass Console and Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscribers and is expected to grow significantly in future -Playstation Plus game subscription tiers lag behind significantly with less than [redacted] the number of subscribers.”

Sony’s “29 million subscribers” claim regarding Xbox Game Pass doesn’t seem to tally with Microsoft’s earlier reports. On Twitter, gaming industry analyst @DomsPlaying notes that 29 million Game Pass subscribers is higher than Microsoft’s last update earlier this year from 25 million subscribers.

Sony quotes market data and analysis companies Ampere Analysis, and the language of the PlayStation company indicates that Microsoft has already reached that subscriber milestone with Game Pass. However, Ampere Analysis games researcher Piers Harding-Rolls noted that unless it’s a forecast, that’s not the company’s current number. The reference is from Harding-Rolls’ GDC talk on the future of streaming services.

Sony’s response cites several points from the CMA’s original statement, including concerns that Activision’s content will be limited to Game Pass only — a situation that would not have occurred had Microsoft not gone ahead with the acquisition. In October, Microsoft responded to the criticism of the British authoritywhich claims it has a number of significant disadvantages compared to rivals like Sony.

The UK government began its investigation earlier this year and later asked for public opinion on the Xbox Activision deal. Around the world, other regulators have launched investigations into the same competition concerns in the gaming industry. That European Commission recently issued a statement regarding its probe while the US Department of Justice investigates three investors for insider trading.

Andrea Shearon is a freelance contributor for IGN covering gaming and entertainment. She has worn multiple hats during her seven-year career in the gaming industry, including at Fanbyte, USA Today’s FTW, TheGamer, VG247, and RPG Site. Find her on Twitter (@Maajora) or the podcast Materia Possessions, which chats about FFXIV, RPGs and all series with giant robots.

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