The increase in subscribers was likely boosted by a promotion which saw the platform holder offering new customers three months of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate for $1/£1.
Eligible Xbox Game Pass Ultimate members in selected markets also received one month of EA Access, three months of Discord Nitro, and six months of Spotify Premium as a promotional bonus.
In Brief: Microsoft Q2 earnings
- Xbox Game Pass subscribers doubled during the quarter.
- New record set for Xbox Live monthly active users.
- Streaming service xCloud “off to a strong start”, claims CEO.
“We set a new record for Xbox Live monthly active users again this quarter, led by strength off-console,” Nadella also said during Microsoft’s earnings call.
The company stopped disclosing actual figures for Xbox Live monthly active users in its earnings reports last year, having included the metric in its financial results since 2014.
“xCloud is off to a strong start,” Nadella added, “transforming how games are distributed, played, and viewed, with hundreds of thousands of people participating in initial trials.”
The xCloud game streaming preview debuted in the UK, US and Korea in October 2019, and it launched in Canada on Wednesday.
Amy Hood, executive vice president and chief financial officer of Microsoft, said of the games division’s second quarter performance: “And in Gaming, revenue declined 21 percent and 20 percent in constant currency, in line with expectations, driven by lower console sales as we approach the next Xbox launch.
“Xbox content and services revenue declined 11 percent and 9 percent in constant currency as the impact from a strong third party title in the prior year [likely Fortnite] more than offset continued growth in Game Pass subscribers and Minecraft.”
Microsoft plans to launch its next-gen console, Xbox Series X, alongside Halo Infinite during the 2020 holiday season.