Microsoft released its results for Q1 of financial year 2019, and it showed increased gaming revenue by 44 percent compared to the same period last year.
Xbox software and services saw a 36 percent increase in revenue. Microsoft notes that this is mostly due to third-party support. Microsoft has struggled to develop as deep a stream of first-party exclusives, both in terms of quality and quantity, as its rival Sony has with its PlayStation 4. In the last NPD monthly report for best-selling games in the U.S., the PlayStation 4 exclusive Marvel’s Spider-Man was at No. 1, while the Xbox One and PC release Forza Horizon 4 was at No. 7 (posting record numbers for the racing franchise).
Microsoft is beefing up its first party offerings by acquiring new studios, including Forza developer PlayGround Games and Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice developer Ninja Theory. Microsoft is also reportedly close to buying RPG experts Obsidian.
Game services include Xbox Live, which gives gamers access to online multiplayer and select free games every month, and Xbox Games Pass, a subscription that allows owners to download a library of games including new releases like Forza Horizon 4.
Hardware saw a massive 94 percent growth. At this same time last year, the Xbox One X was not out yet. It launched in November 2017. The Xbox One X is a more powerful version of the Xbox One that supports 4K visuals.
Gaming helped Microsoft post an overall revenue of $29.1 billion, up 19 percent from the same period last year. Gaming’s 44 percent growth shows that it was one of the quarter’s most successful divisions for Microsoft.