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Microsoft Made Enough Profit In Past 3 Months To Pay For Bethesda Acquisition Twice

In its first update since the Xbox Series X|S launch, Microsoft's gaming division is thriving.


Business is booming for Xbox. Microsoft has reported earnings for its Fiscal Year 2021 Q2, and included in the report are some new numbers that speak to how Microsoft's gaming division--like other gaming publishers--is riding high right now due in part increased spending on games due to COVID-19.

This is the first earnings release from Microsoft since it launched the Xbox Series X|S consoles in November. The release of those systems helped overall Xbox hardware sales jump by 86%.

Hardware revenue could have been higher were it not for product shortages. Analyst Daniel Ahmad said he believes the Xbox Series X|S consoles did not move as many units right away than the Xbox One did over the same timeframe. "This has been reflected in global sell-through data, too. Mainly due to production it seems," he wrote.

Xbox boss Phil Spencer has apologized for the stock shortages and has pledged that Microsoft is trying to replenish stock as soon as it can. Check out GameSpot's Xbox Series X|S restock guide to learn more about how you can get your hands on a next-gen Xbox.

Content and services revenue, meanwhile, rose by 40%. This uptick was driven in part by third-party game sales (Microsoft gets a cut of every game sold on Xbox), Game Pass subscriptions, and first-party game sales.

In total, Xbox revenue rose by 51% for the period compared to the same quarter last year.

Microsoft did not share any specific sales numbers for its Xbox consoles--which is not out of the ordinary, as Microsoft no longer does this--nor did the company provide any updates on Xbox Game Pass subscribers or Xbox Live users. Again, this is standard practice for Microsoft, which historically keeps these figures hidden in its earnings reports.

Microsoft is a gigantic company, one of the biggest on the planet, and across all business units, Microsoft pulled in $43.1 billion in revenue for the period (+17%) and posted a profit of $15.5 billion (+33%). As people on social media are pointing out, profit of $15.5 billion is enough to pay the $7.5 billion acquisition of ZeniMax two times over.

Of course, the business of an acquisition is more complicated than dollars alone and Microsoft isn't just walking into the bank and withdrawing $7.5 billion to acquire ZeniMax. But in terms of dollars alone, $15.5 billion would cover the $7.5 billion acquisition of ZeniMax twice.

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