Redmond has been in the gaming business for decades, but it almost seems like things only got serious this year. So much so that Microsoft CFO is now keeping an eye on thing.
She has to, keeping in mind the fact that this segment now does eleven digits in annual revenue.
The Microsoft of today is one of the top public companies by market capitalization alongside titans like Amazon and Apple. Comes as no surprise that in its fiscal year that ended on June 30, Microsoft surpassed $10 billion in annual gaming revenue for the first time.
With the segment representing 9.4% of total revenue.
And as discussed here, gaming now finally matters for the company, with Amy Hood, chief financial officer at Microsoft, paying special attention to the division.
Microsoft’s executive vice president for gaming, Phil Spencer, talked about this onstage at the Barclays Global Technology, Media and Telecommunications Conference in San Francisco on Wednesday:
“Amy Hood, our CFO, she likes to tell me I’ve made the spreadsheet now, and she says that can be a good thing, and I’m on the spreadsheet. So, she’s going to pay attention.”
She is going to, indeed.
One of the stated growth opportunities for the company in the near future is cloud-based gaming, which could expose its gaming content for wider consumption by making the technical limitations of consumer devices less important.
The company is focusing on Android devices for its Project xCloud initiative.
“We focus first on an Android phone because there’s over a billion Android phones on the planet and it’s a place that the content that we’ve natively built up over the past decades on our platform hasn’t been able to reach.”
Microsoft is, obviously, not alone here in this space. Amazon already has its own gaming division that helps the cloud leader develop its infrastructure for gaming. Google, on the other hand, has also started working on gaming streaming from the cloud with Project Stream.
For Spencer, though, it is all about reaching the 2 billion gamers on the planet. Redmond is making some power moves with its Game Pass subscription service that it is bringing to PC, and hopes that it will eventually be available on every device.
And Azure will play a very big part in making this an eventuality.