Xbox Boss Doesn't Want To Exploit The COVID-19 Crisis

The lockdowns have helped Microsoft make more money, but Phil Spencer doesn't want to exploit these difficult times.


With more and more people staying home amid the COVID-19 crisis, the gaming industry is experiencing growth as people look for stuff to do. Xbox is seeing an increase in Xbox Live users and Xbox Game Pass subscribers. While the lockdowns are seemingly good for business, it's also a challenging time in the world where people are facing difficulty and hardship related to the pandemic and other factors.

Xbox boss Phil Spencer told Business Insider that Microsoft is trying to avoid "exploiting the situation" for its own gain. Instead of focusing on changing up its business models to leverage the increase in players, the company is primarily trying to keep Xbox Live up and running to meet the increased demand.

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"We want to be very thoughtful and not exploiting the situation," Spencer said. "We're not putting in place any different business tactics or other things. We're just trying to keep all the services up, trying to keep the games enjoyable, keeping our networks safe and secure. And being there at a time of need. I'm proud that we can provide this activity for people."

Also in the interview, Spencer said Microsoft has held internal discussions regarding this unique time in the world. Business is good, but people are struggling.

"You wouldn't wish this is the way we get here," Spencer said. "We've talked [internally at Microsoft] about this. It's about, 'How do you feel that gaming is doing well at a time where the world is hurting?'"

As part of Microsoft's latest earnings report, the company announced that content and services revenue rose by 2 percent (up $33 million) due to the COVID-19 crisis that is keeping people at home. Xbox Live monthly active users reached nearly 90 million, while Xbox Game Pass has now surpassed 10 million paid subscribers.

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