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Xbox’s Activision deal is already working: data suggests more US adults are becoming interested in Game Pass

Uh oh, spicy numbers alert.

A character from Call of Duty alongside the stonks meme, because potential Xbox Game Pass Activision Blizzard stonks.
Image credit: VG247/Activision

It looks like Microsoft’s recently completed deal to acquire Activision Blizzard is already resulting in a slight bump to the amount of people who’re considering subscribing to Xbox Game Pass.

This is according to data collected by consumer analytics firm CivicScience, which has conducted polls of US adults with the aim of determining the effect that the deal could have in terms of helping to stoke more interest in Microsoft’s gaming offerings.

Having conducted two separate surveys, one in 2022 and and one in 2023, asking people how likely they are “to subscribe to Xbox Game Pass services now that Activision Blizzard games will soon be included”, CivicScience has found a slight year-on-year increase in those saying that they’re either very or somewhat likely to do so.

“Currently, 8% of polled respondents are ‘very likely’ to sign up for Xbox Game Pass, and 9% are ‘somewhat likely’ to subscribe now that Activision Blizzard games will be included – totaling 17% of potential new subscribers (rebased to exclude current subscribers),” wrote CivicScience’s Sara Shriber in a post documenting the poll results.

“This compares to 5% ‘very likely’ and 7% ‘somewhat likely’ to subscribe in January 2022,” she added.

In turn, the company reports a slight drop, from 88% in 2022 to 83% in 2023, in the number of people who replied that they’re not at all likely to subscribe to the service now ActiBlizz titles are on its horizon, with Xbox boss Phil Spencer having recently confirmed that 2024 will likely be the point at which the publisher’s games begin to arrive on Game Pass.

Interestingly, the sample size of the company’s 2022 survey was reportedly slightly larger than that of its 2023 version, with the former being based on 2,978 responses to the latter’s 2,209. While this is likely due to the fact the 2022 version’s responses were collected over a slightly longer timespan, it does potentially suggest that the trends could be even more pronounced were an equal number of people polled.

In order to try and gauge “the potential reach of Microsoft’s deal”, CivicScience has also polled some people who aren’t currently subscribed to Game Pass regarding which Activision Blizzard titles they play regularly.

Among a sample of 791 such people, 9% responded that they play Call of Duty, World of Warcraft, or Diablo at least once a week, with Hearthstone and Overwatch having mustered an additional 8% and 5% respectively. This looks like some potential good news for Microsoft, with CivicScience arguing these groups to be “audiences that could convert and subscribe to Xbox Game Pass.”

Naturally, whether any of this will actually end up translating into a substantial material increase in the Xbox’s earnings remains to be seen, but it’s interesting to consider nonetheless.

If you are one of those currently subscribed to Game Pass, you can currently enjoy the deeply terrifying hallucination that is Like A Dragon: Ishin for free.



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