Many of Microsoft’s plans have become public because of leaked court documents released in the wake of the software maker’s battle over its deal with Activision Blizzard.
According to the documents, Microsoft executives in 2022 envisioned growth in the games division through advertising and mobile purchases over the next few years. Games revenue was projected to double to $36 billion in fiscal 2030 – compared to a forecast of $18 billion for fiscal 2022 (actual games revenue in 2022 was $16.23 billion).
The document doesn’t mention the $68.7 billion takeover agreement announced a few months earlier (but Activision seems to be key to achieving the type of revenue described in the presentation). The takeover will result in Microsoft increasing transactional sales on consoles and PC, as well as being able to attract more subscribers to its Game Pass library. Growth in these two categories is factored into the 2030 financial forecast.
In 2016, Activision Blizzard acquired King Digital Entertainment, which develops the Candy Crush mobile game franchise. The deal brought the company revenue from in-app purchases and advertising. In 2022, King brought Activision Blizzard $2.79 billion in revenue, an 8% increase.
The 2022 presentation showed that Microsoft believes its ad revenue will grow to $1.4 billion in fiscal 2030, up from about $100 million in fiscal 2022; and mobile transaction revenue will reach $2.6 billion, up from zero revenue in fiscal 2022.
A federal judge ruled in favor of Microsoft and Activision in July, and the companies have since asked for and received permission to redact the documents before the court released them to the public. According to the court order, Microsoft sent links to documents that included a May 2022 presentation. However, after the information was published on the court’s website, the parties said there was data there that was not intended for outside eyes and it was removed.
The presentation also outlines plans for a new Xbox console in 2028, an Xbox Series X in a cylindrical body and a new gamepad in 2024, and possible release dates for The Elder Scrolls VI and Bethesda and id Software games in general. Also according to the leaks, Microsoft is aiming for $500 billion in total revenue by fiscal 2030 and is analyzing corporate customers’ use of its competitors’ products.