It’s been years since Microsoft stopped sharing details about Xbox One sales, preferring to focus on user engagement. Xbox Live monthly active users is a metric Microsoft has been highlighting in its quarterly earnings reports for quite some time now, but the company has quietly announced in a FY20 Investor Metrics and Disclosure Update that it will stop sharing this information going forward.
The news was spotted by a games industry enthusiast on Twitter yesterday. With Microsoft no longer sharing details on Xbox Live monthly active users and hardware growth going forward, the company will now focus on what it calls “Xbox content and services revenue.” This new metric includes video games sales, as well as revenue from Xbox subscription services such as Xbox Live Gold and Xbox Game Pass. The company will still continue to disclose gaming revenue in SEC filings.
Not disclosing Xbox Live user figures is unfortunate, and I wish Microsoft would share the underlying revenue & profit figures from content/services rather than just growth.
Though it shows an obvious shift towards Xbox Game Pass & xCloud.
— Dom (@DomsPlaying) September 18, 2019
While Sony has been regularly sharing updates about how many PlayStation 4 units the company sold worldwide (the 100 million units milestone was crossed back in July) over the years, Microsoft’s choice to focus on revenue generated by Xbox services is interesting. However, it’s also hard not to think about Apple, which is no longer reporting sales numbers for the iPhone and its other hardware products in its quarterly earnings reports. Just like Microsoft, the company now prefers to put the emphasis on services such as the App Store, iCloud, or its new Apple Arcade and TV+ subscription services.
In its FY19 Q4 earnings report published in July, Microsoft revealed that Xbox Live monthly active users had reached 65 million, up from 57 million a year ago. However, the company has never shared any details about the number of subscribers to Xbox Game Pass, its new gaming subscription service that is now available on Windows 10 in addition to Xbox One consoles. Again, Sony was more transparent and revealed back in April that PlayStation Now, its game streaming service had now more than 700,000 subscribers.