Microsoft held a financial briefing at Build 2017 where they discussed all aspects of the business, as well as gaming. Microsoft’s Amy Hood said that Xbox was a multi-billion dollar business that is profitable and is growing in profitability every year. There is further growth to be had through services like Beam and Xbox Game Pass. Satya Nadella added that Xbox Live is the biggest gaming social network, and monetizes far more than any other gaming social network out there, including PlayStation Network.
Microsoft believes that by increasing the connections between Xbox Live gamers and other services, they can increase revenue as it offers consumers more choices. For example, by bringing the Windows Store’s countless programs to Xbox One through the Universal Windows Platform, they can create a thriving market for that on the console. Traditionally—if you look at PlayStation 4—third-party apps aren’t that prevalent on the console. This is just one example of how Microsoft can increase revenue by connecting Xbox Live gamers to additional products.
Phil Spencer took the stage too and discussed how loyalty is important to the Xbox experience. Loyal customers are more likely to invest in other aspects of Microsoft and this ties them into the ecosystem. Programs like Xbox Play Anywhere are vital to this as well because it gives Xbox One gamers a reason to try out PC gaming. Spencer went on to say that at E3 2017, Microsoft will talk about the next wave of big hits, and that Microsoft will continue to invest in first-party games to accelerate the cycle which leads to the growth of Xbox Live.