Microsoft confirmed today that its gaming business continues to grow, and active Xbox Live members reflect it. Monthly active Xbox…
Microsoft confirmed today that its gaming business continues to grow, and active Xbox Live members reflect it. Monthly active Xbox Live users hit 57 million in the first quarter of Microsoft’s fiscal 2019. It is 8 percent compared with the previous year. It is also down just 2 million from the holiday period of 59 million monthly active users. Microsoft notes that it sees Xbox Live growth over consoles, Windows 10 and mobile.
The Xbox game department saw a 44 percent annual jump in revenue. And while Xbox One X hardware, which did not start until Q2 in fiscal 2018, is responsible for most, games and Xbox Live subscriptions were also important contributors.
“Xbox software and services increased 36 percent, primarily driven by third party power,” read Microsoft’s quarterly report.
Microsoft saw exactly the same percentage growth in services and software in the last quarter. And once again, the company points to its partners to deliver much of that success. The biggest third party game at the moment is probably Fortnite. The free-to-play-game royale is among the most played games in the world right now. It also does its entire business through digital transactions, which means that players use credit cards and similar methods to buy products via Xbox Live. Microsoft takes 30 percent of this action.
Microsoft also has its services on top of Fortnite. It has never said exactly how many subscribe to the service, but they are likely to be a significant part of the “services” category. Xbox Live Gold is the company’s 60 member online multiplayer membership program, and Microsoft has invoked it since its launch of Xbox 360 in 2005 to provide stable revenue.
But when the company has switched to services within its companies, it has also launched games with gold. It is a $ 1
0 per month game subscription program. Microsoft positions it as “Netflix of Games.” And it encourages its biggest fans to subscribe by releasing all their first party games while smashing the retail for $ 60.
Gold games should see significant growth in the second quarter of fiscal 2019. Microsoft released Forza Horizon 4 to glowing reviews, and I even wrote that it made Game Pass for a must-service.