Microsoft’s Xbox division has posted strong figures as the company reported its revenue for Q1 2018 which ended March 31. The Xbox business brought in $2.251 billion, 18 percent revenue rise compared to $1.906 billion the video game-related division made in the last quarter of 2017.
The number of Xbox live active users was the company’s focus in its statement, not how many consoles it has sold. It claims to care about the metric much more since its video game services can be accessed by individuals with hardware outside the Xbox platform. Software and services recorded 24 percent of gains, and Microsoft admitted it was driven “mainly from third-party title strength,” this simply means that Microsoft is sure of making profits, even if it relies on games produced by other firms.
Microsoft’s Xbox Live platform has seen a tremendous increase in the number of users since the company expanded the gaming services across consoles and PC devices. Microsoft reported having 55 million Xbox Live active users monthly, up 15 percent from last year’s Q1. The company is expecting 59 million monthly active users by Q3 this year.
“Xbox Live [had] continued growth across Xbox One, Windows 10, and mobile platforms,” said Microsoft in its earnings press release. “Gaming revenue increased 18 percent driven by Xbox software and services revenue growth of 24 percent mainly from third-party title strength.”
Fortnite is highly speculated to have the biggest profit quota in the “third party strength” for Microsoft. The game is known to have caused a massive spending from players as they try to get cosmetic items for their characters. To stay active in Fortnite, players keep renewing their Xbox Live Gold membership and the monthly $10 game pass contribute more.
Sea of Thieves launched 20 is Microsoft’s first-party release late in the quarter. It has piracy simulator and the fastest-selling IP on Xbox since 1995, with over a million players in its first two days of release. It’s part of Xbox division’s record earnings last quarter, though just a few days. Interestingly, Microsoft did not include Sea of Thieves in its report for the quarter.
The company’s fortune in video gaming services is expected to improve further at the release of its own games later this year. Games like Crackdown 3, State of Decay 2, and E3. However, Microsoft’s investment in gaming follows its financial number though far less than it’s earning. The company recorded extra 5 percent operating expenses in the last quarter, pointing to gaming, AI engineering and search.
Xbox gaming unit is part of Microsoft’s More Personal Computing division, which also features Windows OEM and Surface and Windows Commercial. The More Personal Computing division reported a 13-percent rise in revenue. And the company’s overall divisions reported revenue of $26.8 billion, that’s up 16 percent from last year’s report. With profit soaring 35 percent rise, $7.4 billion, Microsoft has made a good quarter.
E3 is the next big event for Microsoft’s Xbox division, coming up in a few months, June. And the company is planning real big for the event.