Increase in subscription revenue offsets Fortnite decline for Microsoft as Xbox Live hits 65m monthly users

Increase in subscription revenue offsets Fortnite decline for Microsoft as Xbox Live hits 65m monthly users

Microsoft's online Xbox Live service recently hit an all-high monthly active user figure.

That's according to the Big M's financial report for the three months ending June 30th, 2019, in which the company revealed that the online platform boasted 65m monthly active users, a rise on the 63m reported during the company's last round of financials.

This is an all-time high for Xbox Live, likely driven by the company's E3 showcase which gave consumers ample reason to sign up to the online platform.

Overall, games revenue dipped, however. The firm made $2.053bn for the last financial quarter, a decline of ten per cent on the $2,286bn made during the same period the year before and a 13 per cent dip compared to the $2.363bn Microsoft reported for the three months ending March 31st, 2019.

This dip is primarily due to the Xbox firm's hardware business, which took a 48 per cent dive year-on-year due to the console cycle coming to an end. Software and services saw a decline of just three per cent year-on-year, with the firm saying that growth in subscriptions - Xbox Game Pass, Xbox Live - offset a dip in cash from sales pertaining to a "third-party title" - cough, FORTNITE - the year before.

Microsoft says it sees its games business continue to dip, largely due to the console cycle ending and the year before seeing elevated performance thanks to that aforementioned, erm, "third-party title". The Big M reckons that the first half of the next financial year will continue to compare poorly to the 12 months period, with H2 proving to be much stronger.

"We are investing to empower the world’s two billion gamers to play the games they want, with anyone, anywhere on any device with our new game streaming service, Project xCloud, which will enter public trials this Fall," CEO Satya Nadella (pictured) told investors.

"Xbox Live Monthly Active Users increased to a record 65 million, with the highest number of mobile and PC users-to-date. We are bringing one of the world’s most popular video games to a new generation of mobile gamers with Minecraft Earth and mixed reality. And we nearly doubled our first-party game studios this year to deliver differentiated content for our fast-growing subscription services like Xbox Game Pass, now available on both console and PC."

Microsoft CFO Amy Hood added: "We expect revenue to decline year-over-year at a similar rate to Q4 as we move thru the end of this console generation and a challenging Xbox software and services comparable from a third-party title in the prior year."

PCGamesInsider Contributing Editor

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 joined Steel Media as the editor for new site In October 2019 he left this full-time position at the company but still contributes to the site on a daily basis. He has also written for, VGC, Games London, The Observer/Guardian and Esquire UK.