Coronavirus: Xbox Live feature turned off as Microsoft reports 'record numbers' across its gaming platforms

Game Pass and streaming service Mixer also seeing unprecedented traffic

Andrew Griffin
Monday 30 March 2020 17:37
Sarah Bond, Head of Xbox Partnerships, speaks during the Xbox E3 2019 Briefing at The Microsoft Theater
Sarah Bond, Head of Xbox Partnerships, speaks during the Xbox E3 2019 Briefing at The Microsoft Theater

Microsoft has turned off an Xbox Live feature as it attempts to deal with "record numbers" of people on its gaming platforms.

The company has stopped allowing people to upload their own gamerpics on the Xbox One, with the hope of "streamlining moderation" of the pictures.

The Xbox gaming services – which includes Game Pass and streaming platform Mixer, as well as Xbox Live – has seen "record numbers" amid coronavirus lockdown in many parts of the world, Xbox said.

That has brought challenges for the company's moderators, who ensure that the platforms are not being abused by users. The moderators work to ensure that users' uploads adhere to its community guidelines.

One of those responsibilities includes vetting custom gamerpics, which are an image that users can upload from their Xbox One or Windows PC to sit on their profile.

In a notice on the Xbox support page, Microsoft said: "To streamline moderation and ensure the best experience for our community, we're making small adjustments.

"We've temporarily turned off the ability to upload custom gamerpics, club pics, and club backgrounds."

The company warned that refund processing has also been hit, with potential delays of up to 72 hours.

Performance and usage trends are being monitored with "proactive steps" to plan for high-usage periods, Microsoft added, working with publishing partners to deliver higher-bandwidth activities like game updates during off-peak hours.

Elsewhere, Microsoft said that its cloud services have seen a huge surge in demand, with an increase of 775% in regions that have enforced social distancing or shelter-in-place orders.

Teams, its business communication tool, now has more than 44 million daily users, generating more than 900 million meeting and calling minutes daily in a single week.

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