Now that we've reached the end of January, a lot of major companies will be starting to declare their quarterly financial earnings to their investors. Microsoft is one of those companies who has just revealed their Q2 FY19 earnings. In news that shouldn't surprise anyone, they've recorded an increase in gaming revenue, and Xbox software and services has a significant part to play in that.
Microsoft's gaming revenue has increased by 8%. Exact figures weren't available, but what we do know is the growth is mostly being driven by more income from Xbox software and related services, which itself has grown by 31% thanks to the strength of an anonymous third-party title. Unfortunately, some of their other third-party titles didn't perform as well. In terms of first-party titles, Minecraft continues to bring in plenty of revenue for the company as it moves onto new platforms, new regions, and even tries to enter the Education market.
In terms of hardware, they earned more revenue from this sector than they expected, although this is understandably less than last year since the Xbox One X console has been available for over a year. In better news, Game Pass and Xbox Live Gold subscriptions helped to make up for some of the disappointing performance of those third-party titles. There are now 64 million active Xbox Live users across all Xbox gaming platforms, including Xbox One, Windows 10, iOS, and Android. By active users, this is just people who have used the service over the last month. This is the highest number it has ever been, and also includes the highest number of mobile and PC players they've ever recorded. Subscriptions to Xbox Game Pass and Mixer hit record figures too.
Microsoft looks to continue investing in games as a service now that they're working on their xCloud service that will stream console-quality games to any device, such as Xbox consoles, PCs and mobiles. Microsoft's chief executive officer Satya Nadella confirms this will be trialled in public "later this year". Whether that meant the financial year (so before the end of June 2019) or the calendar year remains to be seen. They also acquired PlayFab this month, a platform that allows developers to "build, launch and grow cloud-connected games" across all of their platforms, which should make things a bit easier.
On the subject of acquisitions, the company did, of course, also acquire development studios Obsidian and InXile. This brings the total number of first-party studios to 13. However, there are rumours of a 14th acquisition to be unveiled during the upcoming Inside Xbox episode on February 5th. Journey to the Savage Planet creator Typhoon Studios is rumoured to be joining the Microsoft family, although that upcoming title will supposedly remain a multi-platform game. If this rumour turns out to be true, we'll be sure to let you know.
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