Yesterday, Microsoft held its quarterly earnings call, detailing company numbers from October 1st to December 31st of last year. Gaming specific stats include Xbox Live numbers, player engagement, and the ever-growing success of Minecraft.
First off, Microsoft had a strong holiday quarter, generating $4.23 billion in gaming revenue. This is up from $3.92 billion last year in the same period.
Xbox Live also saw some success, with monthly active users reaching 64 million. This statistic includes the “highest number of mobile and PC users to date”. Moreover, Xbox features like Mixer and Game Pass hit engagement all-time highs. Additionally, Minecraft broke revenue records thanks to a Switch edition and versions of the game like Education edition.
On the Xbox software and services side of things, usage went up 31% and 32%, respectively. That and the subscriber growth mentioned above “helped to offset lower-than-expected performance from other third-party titles on the platform.”
Regarding hardware, Microsoft saw a decline. While device sales “performed better than expected,” overall sales declined year-over-year, especially compared to the launch of the Xbox One X in November 2017, as would be expected without a new hardware release.
Also, you may remember that Microsoft acquired two more studios last quarter: Fallout: New Vegas developer Obsidian and Wasteland 2/3 developer InXile. This brings their total studios to 13, “more than doubling” the “first-party content capacity” of the Xbox manufacturer.
PlayFab, which “supports player authentication via Xbox Live,” exceeded 1 billion linked player accounts this quarter. According to the PlayFab website, authentication support for in-app purchases will be coming soon as well.
Excitingly, Microsoft’s xCloud service will be given a public trial later this year. The xCloud project is a global streaming service that will enable users to play games on any device, including their mobile phone.