Microsoft saw record numbers across Xbox Live, Xbox Game Pass and other cloud services due to people staying home because of social-distancing measures. The increase in demand for Microsoft’s cloud services has forced the company to limit some functionality of Xbox Live. Custom gamerpics have been disabled, and Microsoft is taking steps to deliver game updates in off-peak hours.
As reported by The Verge, Microsoft saw a vast 775% increase in cloud demand over the weekend in regions with enforced social distancing measures in place. A Microsoft Azure blog post states that demand for Windows Virtual Desktop, Microsoft Teams, Xbox Game Pass, Xbox Live and Mixer have all seen a huge upswing in demand. According to the post, Microsoft is “actively monitoring” Xbox live performance. The statement reads, “We’re taking proactive steps to plan for high-usage periods, which includes taking prudent measures with our publishing partners to deliver higher-bandwidth activities like game updates during off-peak hours.”
A further statement from Xbox Support says that is making adjustments to ease the strain placed on moderation of the service. "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.”
Xbox Live has understandably taken a bit of a hammering in recent weeks. There have been a few connection issues and achievements even stopped unlocking for several days. Sony recently made the decision to slow download speeds across its PlayStation Network in Europe and the US to help alleviate bandwidth usage.
Clarification : Microsoft’s original Azure blog post stated that its cloud services had seen a 775% increase in demand in areas with enforced social distancing measures. Microsoft has today corrected the statement to say that the increase was for Microsoft Teams’ usage in Italy and not overall cloud demand.