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Microsoft moves to blockchain to help Xbox game publishers

Microsoft is now using blockchain to deliver royalty statements to Xbox game publishers.

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Microsoft is now using blockchain to deliver royalty statements to Xbox game publishers.

If there was ever a word certain to cause an instant eye-roll around the Thumbsticks dungeon, it’s blockchain. Our inboxes are full to the brim with start-ups claiming gold in them thar hills due to some newfangled blockchain solution for video games.

Time will tell, we guess, but in the interim it’s nice to report on a blockchain innovation that looks to be helping the games industry, rather than profiting from it.

Microsoft has announced the move to a blockchain solution running on Microsoft Azure to help speed up the delivery of royalty information to publishers.

According to Microsoft, the previous method was based on a manual spreadsheet check, and took up to 45 days. Explaining the problem the new solution improves, Rohit Amberker, finance director for royalties at Microsoft, says:

“A game publisher might predict that weekly sales of a new game will be $25 million. After 10 days, the publisher can account for $10 million. Was the forecast wrong? Should the publisher spend more on advertising? Should it cut its losses and run? The publisher won’t know for sure for weeks.”

With blockchain running continuously across a distributed network, Microsoft says the delivery of financial data to game publishers will now be automated, secure, and almost instant.

Tim Stuart, chief financial officer of Xbox, added:

“We are developing an ecosystem within the gaming industry that connects developers and publishers to game performance. Providing near real-time access to data greatly improves the process’ effectiveness and insights that lead to a more enriching experience for the partners.”

All good stuff, and we hope the employee who used to check the spreadsheets has found another gig within Microsoft.


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Thumbsticks editor, and connoisseur of Belgian buns. Currently playing: Okami HD, Hollow Knight, and WarioWare Gold.