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Microsoft uses blockchain to quickly send royalty data to game publishers

Gaming is one of the most profitable industries on the planet right now, and companies are always looking to find new ways to streamline their transactions. The number of game publishers that Microsoft interacts with is staggering, and each game sale must be tallied to calculate payouts. Corporations like Microsoft pay royalties to publishers, but those calculations were difficult to process beforehand. Shockingly enough, Microsoft used a manual method that relied on spreadsheets. Unfortunately, this process usually took 45 days and many smaller publishers didn't understand it. There was no way to know how much you were making in real time. Having this information is necessary to adjust sales and marketing strategy, especially if the result isn't what a publisher expected.

Luckily, Microsoft developed a new system which uses blockchain technology. If you're familiar with bitcoin, you might know what blockchain is. Blockchain is a system in which a record of transactions made in bitcoin or another currency is maintained across several computers that are linked in a peer-to-peer network. This essentially means that you can compress the time it takes to calculate royalties to better serve publishers. Microsoft developed a blockchain-based solution that offers royalty information in almost real time. This means that publishers don't have to wait around for months to see how their game is doing.

According to a report (opens in new tab) by Microsoft, the "calculation process is now more transparent, instills greater trust, provides publishers with actionable business insights, and reduces process efforts."

Rohit Amberker, the Finance Director for Royalties and Content Operations at Microsoft, said that the old "offline royalty payment solution that stakeholders have used for years is based on printed documents and spreadsheets. It's expensive to manage." Not only does the blockchain solution end up benefiting publishers because it speeds up the information they receive, but it's also cheaper to manage for Microsoft. It seems like everyone wins in this situation.

The report ended by saying that Amberker and his team are taking advantage of blockchain technology to bring "open, efficient confidence to the Xbox royalty payment process." This is just another way Microsoft Azure is helping the gaming division and the parties associated with it.

Keep an eye on WindowsCentral.com/Gaming for all the latest in Xbox and Windows 10 gaming, accessories, news, and reviews!

Asher Madan handles gaming news for Windows Central. Before joining Windows Central in 2017, Asher worked for a number of different gaming outlets. He has a background in medical science and is passionate about all forms of entertainment, cooking, and antiquing.

15 Comments
  • Can't believe they are still using spreadsheet in 2018 for this kind of work. Well, good for everyone they've changed.
  • At least they were using Microsoft Office 365 - Excel
  • Lol 😁
  • Just renew our EA and it was still spreadsheet based...
  • Top universities in Japan are still using VHS where top unis in other countries are all going digitals. Crazy world we live in.
  • Just crazy Japan 😉
  • It's the Japanese mindset. I worked with a guy who used to work at Nippon Express, and he said they never replaced any hardware unless it broke beyond repair, so offices would be a mishmash of old CRT screens and the latest LCDs.
  • Stop spreading false information. Blockchain is distributed, but thats not something that lets you "compress the time required" for the calculations. That is just BS. If you use an Excel formula, that would probably be faster than with Blockchain.
  • You should read the full report. https://customers.microsoft.com/en-us/story/microsoft-financial-operations-professional-services-azure
  • Out of common sense, any distributed system would be faster (and thus "compress time required") than printed information that's typed into spreadsheets.
  • Exactly. But Blockchain has only little to do with speed, but more with transparency and even more important: security! As in you can't change the things you've put into the chain without making the whole chain useless.
  • You should email Microsoft and ask them why they said that.
  • Think you're reading way too much into it. They say 'compress time' and mean it makes for a more time efficient process of calculating and paying royalties. Also way to jump down someone's throat when you disagree with a phrase used from a media release.
  • Well, that's Asher Madan for you....
  • Spreadsheet took 45 DAYS, blockchain provides data in "near real time". That sure seems like the time to understand the amount of royalties associated with a particular game, was rather significantly compressed.