European Xbox VP Chris Lewis has revealed that only a quarter of European gamers make up Xbox Live’s total membership, and has blamed the language barrier. He states, unsurprisingly, that most of Europe’s XBL users are in the UK, and that the US has the “lion’s share” of Xbox Live members.
“We don’t normally break out the European element of our Live membership,” stated Lewis in an interview with Edge magazine. “I mean, I know what it is, but I don’t want to get rapped on the knuckles by being too explicit with you. I will say to you as a percentage of that overall total, it’s just less than a quarter.”
“And I’ll tell you also that a large part of that is in the UK, partly because of the language aspect, the fact is you need, on a community service like Live, enough people of a similar language orientation to get a community so that it starts to really blow out.“
Funny thing is, he doesn’t reference what is probably the more likely problem here — the price. Microsoft doesn’t really account for currency differences in its prices, as our expensive MS Points would demonstrate. With the UK facing its own risks of recession, maybe we don’t have a spare £40 (almost $80 USD) to throw at a year’s Gold subscription. Also, with a lot of Europeans being PlayStation fans, I’m sure many of us are enjoying a free PSN instead.