Xbox One might not have the exciting exclusives of a PlayStation 4 or that special “it” factor of a Nintendo Switch, but what it does have is third-party titles and nifty services, and apparently that’s enough to increase revenue year over year. Who would have thought?
Microsoft recently released its Q4 2018 financial reports, which ended on June 30th, showing that gaming revenue increased 39 percent to $643 million year over year, while revenue collected from its software and services (including Xbox Live and Game Pass) increased 36 percent, mostly thanks to third-party titles.
Xbox Live specifically saw an 8 percent increase in monthly active users during Q4 2018 with 53 million users. One thing that was predictably absent from the report was hardware sales, though Electronic Arts CFO Blake Jorgensen might have accidentally revealed why Microsoft is keeping those numbers close to the chest during an earnings call back in May. Hint: it’s because they’re not great.
Xbox might struggle a bit with exclusives, especially compared to Sony and Nintendo, but that doesn’t mean the ones Microsoft Studios publish aren’t performing. State of Decay 2 recently claimed the number-one spot in May 2018’s NPD Group report, while Sea of Thieves came in second to Far Cry 5‘s mammoth sales numbers in March. Neither title might have the record-shattering potential of God of War, but it does show that Xbox One users are more than willing to spend their hard-earned money on console exclusives, even if they were a bit critically underwhelming.