Xbox Live, Game Pass Seeing "Record Numbers" Amid COVID-19 Crisis
People are staying home and playing a lot of games, it seems.
As more and more people stay home, either voluntarily or by government order due to the COVID-19 crisis, the Xbox Live gaming network is surging in popularity. Microsoft said in a post that Xbox Live, Xbox Game Pass, and Mixer are seeing "record numbers" as people spend more time playing games while adhering to social-distancing policies.
The message, which was first reported on by VideoGamesChronicle, also states that Microsoft is making "small adjustments" to ensure a smooth experience for users during the spike in usage. One of the adjustments is the removal of the ability to upload custom gamerpics for your profile. Not only that, but you can no longer upload pictures for club backgrounds.
This change is only temporary, so these services will return at some point in the future.
A separate post from Microsoft regarding its cloud networks states that Microsoft's engineers are keeping a close eye on "performance and usage trends" to ensure that Xbox Live is optimized for people around the world. Microsoft is also taking steps to minimize the impact of increased bandwidth by asking its partners to hold back their "higher-bandwidth activities," which include game updates, for off-peak hours.
It's not just Xbox Live that's seeing big numbers during the global lockdowns. Valve's Steam platform continues to set and then break its own record for peak concurrent users. The service eclipsed 23.5 million peak concurrent players recently, which is an all-time high for the network.