Microsoft is working to optimize Xbox Live amid COVID-19 pandemic

"We are actively monitoring performance and usage trends to ensure we’re optimizing the service for our customers worldwide and accommodating for new growth and demand."

Image via Microsoft

Microsoft’s head of Xbox Phil Spencer recognized the importance of gaming today during the coronavirus pandemic. In a message to the community, he reassured fans today that the company is working hard to stay on top of online demand. 

“I believe gaming has a unique power to bring people together, to entertain, to inspire and connect us, and I believe that’s even more true under these unique circumstances,” Spencer said

Gaming has increased dramatically since the coronavirus crisis began, with people turning to their phones, consoles, and computers as an escape from the outside world. While practicing social distancing and remaining indoors, gaming has risen by 75 percent in the U.S. alone.  

“Many are looking to gaming to remain connected with their friends… and we are seeing an unprecedented demand for gaming from our customers right now,” Spencer said. “We understand the important role gaming is playing right now to connect people and provide joy in these isolating and stressful times, and our teams are working diligently to ensure we can be there for our players.”

Video streaming services like Netflix and YouTube have taken quite the opposite approach, limiting video quality and reducing bandwidth to ease internet congestion during the crisis. The surge has taken a toll on many platforms, but Microsoft remains determined.

“To that end, we are actively monitoring performance and usage trends to ensure we’re optimizing the service for our customers worldwide and accommodating for new growth and demand,” Spencer said.