Gaming platforms have seen a surge in activity in recent weeks, as governments across the world advise citizens to stay at home and avoid socialising.
Last week both Nintendo and Xbox online services experienced downtime, with Microsoft confirming its own outage was due to increased demand. On PC, Valve’s Steam platform broke its concurrent active user record.
In a new update posted on Xbox.com on Tuesday, Spencer said Microsoft is actively monitoring performance and usage trends to accommodate increased demand.
“We understand the important role gaming is playing right now to connect people and provide joy in these isolating and stressful times, and our teams are working diligently to ensure we can be there for our players.”
Spencer added: “To that end, we are actively monitoring performance and usage trends to ensure we’re optimizing the service for our customers worldwide and accommodating for new growth and demand.
“While these are unprecedented times we are living in, I have no doubt that we’ll come through this experience stronger than ever.”
Microsoft confirmed it will offer free educational content for Minecraft, to help parents faced with the prospect of home schooling their children due to government lockdowns.
A new Education category to the Minecraft Marketplace will offer free educational content until June 30, 2020, Spencer said.
“The educational content we’ve curated lets players explore the International Space Station though a partnership with NASA, learn to code with a robot, visit famous Washington D.C. landmarks, find and build 3D fractals, learn what it’s like to be a marine biologist, and so much more.”
In the UK physical game sales have tripled in the past week, with retailers reportedly crediting the increase in demand for games to consumers preparing to stay at home to slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus.
Overall more than 475,000 physical games were sold in the UK over the past week, which is more than three times the previous week’s numbers.