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Xbox Live Monthly Active Users Grew to 64 Million Last Quarter, Game Pass Engagement Hits All Time High

January 31, 2019

By: Max Moeller

 
 

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.

 

microsoft gaming revenue for holiday quarter

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.”

xbox live monthly active users 1
The platform's monthly active users. (Take note that the company runs its financial year from July 1st to June 30th, hence the Q2 2019)

 
 

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.

 
 


Quick Take

Overall, it seems that the Xbox brand is well on its way to becoming an all-in-one gaming platform. I’d still love to know Xbox hardware numbers, but the company refuses to release these, focusing on “engagement” instead. That said, the push for cloud streaming is one I'm looking forward to. All we need now is more first-party games to take advantage of it. 
Max Moeller
Content Writer

Blockchain, cryptocurrency, and gaming journalist. Feels most at home with a controller and something to learn about. Likes emerging things.