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Sales-Age Microsoft will no longer include Gaming Revenue or XBL Monthly Users in its earnings reports.

NickFire

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The need to hide data even now makes me wonder if the top people really might order a new focus that doesn’t include hardware. A year out from launch of a new system, a recent launch with huge player counts, and still looking for smoke and mirrors to hide unflattering data? Sure does not sound like things are going as hoped to me.
 

FranXico

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The investors can't question your business decisions if you consolidate things like this.

The last thing they will want is investors once again questioning the value of Xbox as a business line in the lead up to next gen.
If the biggest investors really want to know, they can find out...
 

Vawn

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Feb 20, 2018
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Good sales numbers lead to even better sales numbers.

Bad sales numbers lead to even worse sales numbers.

Microsoft really doesn't have a choice here if they want to stay relevant in the gaming console industry. They need to create the illusion of success.

They do this by releasing misleading statistics like number of players for a basically F2P game (counting even those who played for 10 minutes and uninstalled) and other difficult to interpret numbers like total hours played or enemies killed.

If they were to release their actual sales numbers the illusion would be shattered.
 
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The thing about MAU, is that if you report the same metrics every year, then you would STILL see the rise or fall of the business.

The first time they used MAU, no one knew what a good MAU or a bad MAU looked like.

But this year, we could have actually compared. Had MS revealed the exact same MAU data in 2019, we would be able to graph the damn thing and actually see proportional changes in Xbox business performance.

What does it mean? It means MS is admitting that even MAU is down. That the metric they invented to make themselves look good, is actually failing them.

It's like if you invented a new award category that was suppose to let you win, and then you failed to win your own designated award.

Imagine how bad a mess Xbox must be in, that they are too scared to reveal their MAU?
 
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They'll continue doing this by releasing misleading statistics like number of players for a basically F2P game (counting even those who played for 10 minutes and uninstalled) and other difficult to interpret numbers like total hours played or enemies killed.
But the funny part is, you can STILL find out how Xbox is doing using these strange statistics... IF MS use the same criteria to measure the number of players and enemy killed, each year. It would be a rough estimate, but you could do it.

What is the shocking part, is that it seems MS realised that the number of active players have gone down from last year, the number of hours played and enemies killed are down too. These statics are only bullshit because we have no knoledge of what a "good" MAU and what a "bad" MAU looked like.

Had MS not abandon MAU, we would be able to know objectively this year how badly Xbox is doing, from MAU alone.
 

GHG

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The need to hide data even now makes me wonder if the top people really might order a new focus that doesn’t include hardware. A year out from launch of a new system, a recent launch with huge player counts, and still looking for smoke and mirrors to hide unflattering data? Sure does not sound like things are going as hoped to me.

My opinion:

This has been a huge period of outlay for the division with investments in xCloud, studio acquisitions, Gamepass content procurement and ongoing R&D for the next gen console(s).

All things considered, the P&L statement for the division is unlikely to look favourable at the moment. By only highlighting selected growth metrics rather than the raw financial figures you can sidestep (and even avoid) a lot of the potentially difficult questions/discussions surrounding the above.
 
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bosnianpie

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I don't think anyone should be sharing sales data, to be honest. I hope the others follow suit.

Microsoft is a public company and information like this is very relevant to current owners and people interested in buying shares. By keeping things like sales figures in the dark Microsoft makes people wonder if they got something to hide, something like bad sales figures. Sony did the same with Vita and I'm sure Nintendo has done so with WiiU.
 

Jigsaah

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Not a good look Microsoft. At least give an explanation as to why. I wonder how their investors feel about this.
 
Oct 16, 2017
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My opinion:

This has been a huge period of outlay for the division with investments in xCloud, studio acquisitions, Gamepass content procurement and ongoing R&D for the next gen console(s).

All things considered, the P&L statement for the division is unlikely to look favourable at the moment. By only highlighting selected growth metrics rather than the raw financial figures you can sidestep (and even avoid) a lot of the potentially difficult questions/discussions surrounding the above.
Still, historically every console manufacturer know that the year before a new console launch is where all the money get spent. And investors know this too. There are graphs out there showing massive drops in profitability before a console launch, for every company ever.
It really shouldn't be too difficult to say "we are winding down our current product in preparation for upcoming new releases, and temperary drop in profitability is expected." Sure, Sony is making money from PS4 still, but MS investors should understand that they are not Sony.

MS could have been far more professional about this. They could have honestly made the argument that Xbox Division made mistakes, but that they are now going to turn over a new leaf. But this attempt to hide even more numbers than before is not promising.
 

Dirk Benedict

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Microsoft is a company that has always shouted from the top of the mountain whenever they've done good. Selling 1 million of a game in 24 hours, etc. They've cut out announcing sales figures, revenue and now MAU.
This doesn't really point to anything good, it tells me active user engagement is more than likely down. Should they get a good spike going with anything Xbox related, you can bet your house that they will let us know.
For now, F for MAU.
 

NickFire

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Mar 12, 2014
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My opinion:

This has been a huge period of outlay for the division with investments in xCloud, studio acquisitions, Gamepass content procurement and ongoing R&D for the next gen console(s).

All things considered, the P&L statement for the division is unlikely to look favourable at the moment. By only highlighting selected growth metrics rather than the raw financial figures you can sidestep (and even avoid) a lot of the potentially difficult questions/discussions surrounding the above.
I assume you are correct on the P&L, but I also believe a confident company would be able to defend the outlay by treating it as investment into the next few years of expected revenue stream. I suppose they might be banking on little follow ups by press on the limited information they give out, with confidence they can hide the bad situation. But that early adopter crowd who can sway the next generation sales by word of mouth has to be taking notice, as I assume the shareholders with clout who are against hardware losses will too.
 

GHG

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Guys they will still report revenue for the division in their filings.

However the revenue will no longer be reported in the earnings reports which are targeted at investors.

They are not hiding it (they wouldn't be allowed to do so), just completely taking it out of focus.
 
Oct 16, 2017
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Microsoft is a company that has always shouted from the top of the mountain whenever they've done good. Selling 1 million of a game in 24 hours, etc. They've cut out announcing sales figures, revenue and now MAU.
This doesn't really point to anything good, it tells me active user engagement is more than likely down. Should they get a good spike going with anything Xbox related, you can bet your house that they will let us know.
For now, F for MAU.
Assuming for the moment that MAU is down, what does it physically mean?
It might mean that there was a measurable drop in the number of people still connect to the Xbox services in 2019, compared to 2018. That they didn't just not gain customers, but have actually lost customers who already own Xbox consoles. And those people are the "high engagement" customers, people who are suppose to spend the most money and the last to jump ship.

Well, the last to jump ship, has now started to line up in front of the lifeboats. Good thing a new ship is being launched next year. We will see if the new ship Scarlet would pick up the slack... or not. Who knows.
 
Jun 20, 2019
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Great move by MS..more salt, more guessing for Sony broskis..its truly amazing how so many of them get involved in MS threads and truly, positively care about the brand..right...riiiiiight broskies??! 🤭🤭🤭
 
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Vawn

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Microsoft is a public company and information like this is very relevant to current owners and people interested in buying shares. By keeping things like sales figures in the dark Microsoft makes people wonder if they got something to hide, something like bad sales figures. Sony did the same with Vita and I'm sure Nintendo has done so with WiiU.

I could be wrong, but I don't think Nintendo attempted to hide Wii U's numbers.

This is also relevant to potential customers. The more a console sells, the more the console is supported in software, especially by third-parties. Just look at the difference in support between the Wii U and Switch.
 
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GHG

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Still, historically every console manufacturer know that the year before a new console launch is where all the money get spent. And investors know this too. There are graphs out there showing massive drops in profitability before a console launch, for every company ever.
It really shouldn't be too difficult to say "we are winding down our current product in preparation for upcoming new releases, and temperary drop in profitability is expected." Sure, Sony is making money from PS4 still, but MS investors should understand that they are not Sony.

MS could have been far more professional about this. They could have honestly made the argument that Xbox Division made mistakes, but that they are now going to turn over a new leaf. But this attempt to hide even more numbers than before is not promising.

Agreed, however in this case its not just R&D for the new console and the expected drop-off at this stage in the current console's lifecycle that needs to be taken into consideration.

A lot of the areas they are investing in are not typical of a new console launch and they are doing all of these at once.

They are essentially realigning an entire business area, so while it's understandable that things won't look so great financially at the moment, this is a business area that has previously been called into question so the obscuration is understandable.
 
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Oct 16, 2017
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Great move by MS..more salt, more guessing for Sony broskis..its truly amazing how so many of them get involved in MS threads and truly, positively care about the brand..right...riiiiiight broskies??! 🤭🤭🤭
Where are you seeing salt? I am personally here because I enjoy a good train wreck, observing from a safe distance. I find enjoyment in both seeing a company succeed, and seeing a company fail. Either way, it is entertaining.
Yes, I care about the Xbox brand, sort of. I care as much as I care about all the fun news articles written about Fallout76 bugs, or Anthem disasters. If MS just reveal the same MAU as last year, i would have nothing to make comments about and would post on other topics. MS want to make news, they got my attention.
 

iconmaster

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NickFire

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Guys they will still report revenue for the division in their filings.

However the revenue will no longer be reported in the earnings reports which are targeted at investors.

They are not hiding it (they wouldn't be allowed to do so), just completely taking it out of focus.
Do they file those reports at the same time they won’t comment to shareholders about the data directly? My guess, which may be wrong, is no. They are obviously trying to hide something at least short term IMO.
 

FranXico

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It already is....
I meant new games coming out on a direct competitor platform (not Switch). And Minecraft games are an exception. That probably was part of the deal when Notch sold Mojang.
 
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CeeJay

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Great move by MS..more salt, more guessing for Sony broskis..its truly amazing how so many of them get involved in MS threads and truly, positively care about the brand..right...riiiiiight broskies??! 🤭🤭🤭
Not sure about it being a great move , more likely the best move they thought they had. I am sure there is going to be pages of speculation involving a lot of doom and gloom but in reality we simply do not know why they decided to change the metrics and although it doesn't point to anything good it obfuscates things enough to prevent any negative discussion taking place that is based on factual information. My guess is that numbers are down and they want to try and sail into the start of next gen with as calm a sea as possible. Let's face it, the run up to the current gen really fucked them over and caused a lot of major problems with the launch of the Xbox One that has followed them like a grey cloud for the entire generation. Some of the decisions around the focus of the console was poor leading to a massive amount of negative word of mouth and massive backlash. I am sure that they will not want to repeat that and will try their hardest to do the opposite of what happened last time around so they start next gen on at least an even footing with the competition.
 
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Do they file those reports at the same time they won’t comment to shareholders about the data directly? My guess, which may be wrong, is no. They are obviously trying to hide something at least short term IMO.
It seems to me that MS does not yet have a clear focus of where Xbox is going. That they are intending to let Scarlet launch, and then re-evaluate their future direction pending Scarlet's sales numbers. Since the money developing Scarlet was already spent, they were going to release it one way or another. But the lack of desire to back Scarlet whole-heartily is telling.
Ms is, to me, definitely in "Wait and see" mode. And that is not healthy for console launch.
 

NickFire

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Come on... that's never going to happen.
If the people inside MS who believe they should focus exclusively on services prevail, I think it would happen without question. Why would MS abandon all aspects of gaming if they drop hardware? If EA can make money off access on any platform, MS certainly can too. In fact they already do with Minecraft.

Whether they would really drop hardware is speculative of course. I’m sure we have all read stories about competing visions over the years, and the need to keep changing focus or hiding date, whatever we call it, gives those thoughts more legs. But still, I would be rather shocked if they dropped hardware before taking a shot at next generation. Too much invested already. If the year 1 or 2 numbers show them in distant second or worse place though, I would start to worry.
 

FranXico

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It seems to me that MS does not yet have a clear focus of where Xbox is going. That they are intending to let Scarlet launch, and then re-evaluate their future direction pending Scarlet's sales numbers. Since the money developing Scarlet was already spent, they were going to release it one way or another. But the lack of desire to back Scarlet whole-heartily is telling.
Ms is, to me, definitely in "Wait and see" mode. And that is not healthy for console launch.
To be fair, Sony also held back a bit with the PS4. They had that attitude of "ok, we can do better than with the PS3" but were more conservative. They just got lucky with the XBone TV, TV, TV shenanigans. After that reveal, then Sony went into attacking stance.

Maybe MS are hoping that Sony will screw up in comparable magnitude, who knows.
 
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