Xbox Cloud Gaming development heavily cut as gamers remain uninterested

Xbox Cloud gaming running on a smartphone, tv and pc with Sea of Thieves pirates and Master Chief

Xbox Cloud gaming running on a smartphone, tv and pc with Sea of Thieves pirates and Master Chief

Microsoft has significantly reduced its investment in Xbox Cloud Gaming over the past few years following a lack of interest from the general consumer. Planned as the next big jump for Microsoft, spreading its games across PC, mobile and console, Xbox Cloud Gaming has since taken a backseat.

Exposed in leaked FTC documents alongside a new Xbox console, a portable Xbox Series handheld, secretive Game Pass plans, a new controller and unannounced games, Microsoft revealed that its cloud game service has seen little investment in recent years.

In the FTC documents, conversations involving Xbox head Phil Spencer reveal that Xbox had cut almost all investment to Xbox Cloud Gaming, including expansion of the service’s Azure servers. While recent document reveal that Microsoft is bringing PC games to its streaming service, it’s also not investing much in expanding the project.

“We have cut almost all feature work and investment in new server infrastructure, new xCloud infrastructure,” Spencer explained. “I would say our investment in specific xCloud is probably in the single digit millions in Fiscal Year 2023.”

Spencer revealed that Xbox plans to support gamers already using the service, but future plans for it are “unclear”.

“We’re decreasing investment really to zero to wait to see if we can find market fit with the service of streaming Xbox games to devices, specifically mobile devices.”

Over the past year, Xbox has continued to develop partnerships with new hardware to promote Xbox Cloud Gaming. For example, the recent Android handheld Logitech G Cloud heavily advertised Xbox’s streaming service, and Samsung TVs are now pushing the service as a way to play Starfield without a console.

However, Phil Spencer revealed to the FTC that Xbox’s cloud gaming on mobile isn’t a significant way of increasing its presence on mobile. Instead, Microsoft’s plan is to invest in native mobile titles, such as Activision’s Candy Crush titles.

“I fundamentally believe without native mobile titles as part of Xbox that we will fail to make traction on mobile devices,” Spencer told the FTC.

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