Microsoft reports highest Xbox Live PC users to date in last quarter

Microsoft reports highest Xbox Live PC users to date in last quarter

Games giant Microsoft has said that its monthly active users for Xbox Live hit an all-time high of 64m for the quarter ending December 31st, 2018, with PC and mobile users breaking records

That's according to the Big M's CEO Satya Nadella (pictured), who told investors in the firm's post-financial result call that the ambition is to build a "world-class gaming platform" across PC, mobile and console. This would be the 'Netflix-for-games' service that the exec was talking up earlier in January

The aforementioned stats certainly place Microsoft in a good place to do that, too. Furthermore, for the last quarter, games revenue rose eight per cent year-on-year to hit $4.23bn, while software and service cash rose 31 per cent. The Big M thanks "third-party sales" for this increase, which can broadly be read as 'Fortnite', were we to speculate. Elsewhere, this revenue will likely be coming from its Xbox Game PAss service, which features a huge range of titles now. 

Hardware sales dipped for Microsoft, however, declining 19 per cent year-on-year but that is due to the launch of the powerful Xbox One X at the end of 2017.

Nadella also bigged up the Big M's first-party investment, with the company now boasting 13 of its own studios. This follows the purchase of Obsidian and InXile in November of last year and the firm snapping up Playground, Undead Labs, Ninja Theory and Compulsion before E3 2018. Oh, and the company's new Santa Monica outfit, The Initiative.

"We continue to pursue our expansive opportunity to transform how games are distributed, played and viewed," Nadella said, as transcribed by Seeking Alpha

"Our investments in content community and cloud services across every endpoint drove both record user engagement and record average revenue per user and contributed to our largest gaming revenue quarter ever, driven by software and services.

"We acquired two new studios this quarter, bringing the total to 13 and more than doubling our first-party content capacity in the past 6 months. Xbox Live monthly active users reached a record 64 million, with the highest number of mobile and PC users to date. Xbox Game Pass subscribers and Mixer engagement also hit new all-time highs. And Minecraft, which continues to be one of the most popular and durable gaming franchises in the industry, delivered record revenue as we expanded into new platforms, geographies and segments like education. PlayFab surpassed 1 billion player accounts this quarter, and xCloud will be public trialled later this year as we make progress on our ambition to build a world-class gaming platform spanning mobile, PC and console."

Editor - PC Games Insider

Alex Calvin is a freelance journalist who writes about the business of games. He started out at UK trade paper MCV in 2013 and left as deputy editor over three years later. In June 2017, he was hired to launch for Steel Media before departing the firm in October 2019.

He has also written for, VGC, Games London, The Observer/Guardian and Esquire UK.


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