During the earnings conference call yesterday, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella spoke about the gaming business. He said Microsoft is broadening their approach to how they think about gaming end-to-end – from the way games are created and distributed to how they are played and viewed.
Xbox Live is an important part of Microsoft’s strategy which connects Microsoft’s gaming assets across PC, console and mobile. Microsoft yesterday reported that there are now about 53 million Xbox Live members and the revenue from Xbox Live software and services revenue saw a growth of 21%.
Moreover, we have high expectations for our gaming business to bring more people to more Microsoft experiences and broaden our engagement and usage scenarios. This means fundamentally rethinking how we measure progress in gaming. While we continue to innovate across console, PC and Xbox Live services, we see substantial additional opportunities across eSports and streaming. At 20 percent this quarter, our software and services revenue growth reflects the early stage potential of this larger opportunity.
Microsoft thinks that their cloud business can benefit from gaming business in general. Console, PC and mobile game developers can use Azure’s cloud infrastructure and services to enhance their game-play. Since Gaming requires huge CPU and GPU compute power, developers tend to move it to the cloud.
Satya also revealed that PUBG Corp, the developer behind popular game Player Unknown’s Battlegrounds is now using Microsoft Azure to maintain the game. It is important to note that PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds will be a Xbox One console exclusive when it launches later this year.