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Xbox: We will do $1bn on PC this year

Microsoft reveals it now has 150 million monthly active users with its games

Xbox chief Phil Spencer says Microsoft will generate $1 billion from PC games this year.

In a panel called 'What's Next For Gaming', Spencer observes that contrary to popular opinion, Xbox is a far bigger business today than it was during the Xbox 360 era. Part of that is the growth it's seen on other platforms, including PC.

He reiterates the company's mission to bring "new players and new creators" to what gaming is all about, for the benefit of everyone in the games industry, not just Xbox.

He told the assembled media: "I often get asked 'how are you doing?' I'll get people who will harken back, some people in this room, to the Xbox 360 years as being the heyday of Xbox. And I was there, and I love what Xbox 360 meant for where we are today. But for you to understand, our business right now, from a revenue standpoint, is about twice the size it was during the Xbox 360 generation.

"When you think about players, we have never had more Xbox players than we have right now, which we feel is the real scorecard for us right now in terms of the number creators and number of players. On the business side, we don't try to lead with this because it's kind-of boring stuff, but we announced last quarter for Microsoft was our biggest non-holiday gaming quarter in the history of us being in the gaming business.

"We have more players than we've ever had, and we are always looking to find new players and creators. Even on PC, which has been a real focus for us as team. Which is part of the catalyst for what Bethesda can do, because they have a real history there. We are going to do $1bn in PC revenue this year, for the first time ever for us at Microsoft."

Spencer adds that PC is part of the motivation behind the Activision Blizzard acquisition, which is currently being blocked by the UK regulator the CMA, and is being challenged by the US regulator the FTC, too.

"Microsoft is very committed, we are very committed [to getting the deal done], we think there is a real capability that Activision Blizzard King has, particularly in mobile and PC, to growing our portfolio to find more players and reach more players," he added.

"We are trying to get to solutions, we did that with the European Commission, and I am confident that we will find solutions for other areas as well. It's taking time and focus, but I'm confident."

Another reason Xbox is bigger today is due to its service titles. Speaking about Xbox's first-party titles, Microsoft Studios boss Matt Booty says that the firm has ten games with more than ten million players. And that across the portfolio of titles, the firm boasts more than 150 million monthly active users.

He says: "We have already got such big communities around our service games, games like Minecraft, games like Elder Scrolls, Flight Simulator, Forza… games that continue to build communities. Over the last five years, we have shipped ten games that have over ten million players each. When you add that up across Bethesda, Zenimax, Bethesda Game Studios… we have over 150 million monthly players. 150 million MAU across first-party games. That's how we measure success. How many people are playing our games, how many people are we able to bring into the fold of our games and communities."

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Christopher Dring avatar
Christopher Dring: Chris is a 17-year media veteran specialising in the business of video games. And, erm, Doctor Who
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