Blockchain platforms

The future of doing business will be through tokens and smart contracts, enabled by blockchain. EY has a clear vision and strategy for how blockchain is digitalizing and integrating supply chains by knitting together business operations and finance at the ecosystem level.

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Case Study

How blockchain helped a gaming platform become a game changer

Microsoft Xbox and EY implemented a transparent blockchain network so game publishers, creators and asset owners can focus on the future.

Case Study
The better the question The better the answer The better the world works
Case Study

How can blockchain transform a gaming platform into a game changer?

A blockchain solution gives Microsoft Xbox an infrastructure that helps them manage and provide a better partner experience.

The $120b video game industry employs some of the brightest creative and technological minds. While this marriage of creativity and technology was bringing enjoyment to the masses, Microsoft Xbox’s royalty process meant that game publishers faced some unique challenges due to legacy technologies limitations.

Global gaming industry

$120b

of forecasted revenue, serving over 2.7 billion consumers worldwide.

The gaming industry serves over 2.7 billion consumers worldwide. This is enabled through partnerships between gaming platforms such as Xbox and thousands of publishers, developers, authors, designers, production houses and distributors. These relationships are all key in maintaining a high-quality product and attracting the best talent and creators to the platform.

Microsoft Xbox’s legacy system for securing and managing royalty processing was cumbersome, taking 45 days to access validated financial information about royalties earned.  Along with paperwork, this was not giving the best experience to many game publishers, especially the ones with small businesses and limited resources.

EY and Microsoft wanted to help the gaming industry play fair, so the team asked themselves: could blockchain be a game-changer for the gaming industry?

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Case Study
The better the question The better the answer The better the world works
Case Study

A blockchain solution that integrates with publishers and creators

Together, EY and Microsoft Xbox are implementing smart digital solutions to help game publishers and creators do their best work.

Microsoft Xbox and EY worked together as one team to help deliver a transformation. Microsoft and EY teams’ joint capabilities and suite of digital solutions became a game-changer, helping Microsoft Xbox reduce the manual effort and the operational hours associated with processing royalties for publishers through automation of the royalties processing, starting to transition off the legacy system. 

Smart contracts encode game creators’ IP rights

The first step in refreshing Microsoft’s legacy systems was to onboard royalty contracts onto blockchain in the form of digital contracts. The legal terms were then encoded in the blockchain network in the form of smart contracts. By opting in, industry participants can review and validate that onboarded digital contracts are the same as the royalty contracts in a confidential manner.

An automated solution that brings down operational costs

Building on the foundation of contractual transparency, the team focused on providing improved transparency to the game publisher for the royalty processing — a major pain point for Microsoft Xbox. The existing system of processing and distributing royalties was plagued by loads of reviews and tedious manual processes.  Automation of the system sped up the process, reduced the effort and provided more transparency to participants, while at the same time maintaining a high degree of privacy and confidentiality between Microsoft and the game publisher.  A user-centric interface adds a simple, well-designed interaction layer to the royalty distribution system for game developers.

Near real-time purchase records show game creators what they have earned

While smart contracts were used to accurately and transparently process the royalties for Microsoft Xbox’s partners, the next step was to securely and transparently share the information with them in near real-time, cutting access to royalties from 45 days to 4 minutes.

Providing near real-time access to data greatly improves the process’s effectiveness, and insights that lead to a more enriching experience for the partners,” Tim Stuart, Xbox Chief Financial Officer at Microsoft.

As consumers purchase Xbox games, other merchandise and digital content, the smart contracts apply the encoded contractual logic and instantly calculate the royalty. This information, when ready, is then sent to each participant who has a node, creating an immutable record of transactions and royalty obligations in a secure and confidential manner. Not only does this provide creators peace of mind, it allows them to record financial transactions daily, it can also vastly improve their forecasting and reporting capabilities.

Providing near real-time access to data greatly improves the process’s effectiveness, and insights that lead to a more enriching experience for the partners.
Tim Stuart
Xbox Chief Financial Officer at Microsoft.
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Case Study
The better the question The better the answer The better the world works
Case Study

A transparent blockchain ecosystem that empowers creators

Microsoft Xbox’s new blockchain network is better for business and better for game creators.

The technology solutions implemented in this project — including instant transactional details — led to profound benefits for Microsoft Xbox and its partners. It seamlessly connected these parties and enhanced their experience.

The blockchain solution integrates closely with game creators to give Microsoft Xbox an infrastructure that helps them manage and reward game publishers and creators. Creators now have more trust in the process and can focus on creating new games.

“By implementing a blockchain-based network and streamlined royalty processing, game publishers and Xbox benefit from a more trusted, transparent and connected system from contract creation through to royalty settlements,” Luke Fewel, General Manager, Global Finance Operations at Microsoft. The new solution enables a 99% improvement in processing time and is fully integrated with ERP for automated invoicing and recording accounting entries. It enables near-100% real-time royalty statements for game publishers, 40% plus operational effort reduction and eliminates reconciliation needs.

This technology will help transform the future of entertainment.

By implementing a blockchain-based network and streamlined royalty processing, game publishers and Xbox benefit from a more trusted, transparent and connected system from contract creation through to royalty settlements.
Luke Fewel
General Manager, Global Finance Operations at Microsoft.

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What EY can do for you

EY can help you with the complete business lifecycle from contracting, ordering, fulfilling, invoicing, to payments. You can do business on a blockchain with EY OpsChain and then get insight into what happened with EY Blockchain Analyzer. EY also knows how to manage the tax and audit requirements for blockchain-based transactions. Working with EY, companies can be confident about getting the benefits of this new technology while handling the regulatory and tax complexities of an emerging ecosystem.

Understanding EY’s Blockchain platforms

Infographic depicting EY's blockchain platforms

Transforming the business lifecycle with EY OpsChain, EY Blockchain Analyzer, Nightfall, Dye Pack and Smart Contract and Token Testing

EY OpsChain

The EY OpsChain platform lets companies interact with their business partners, customers and suppliers, over public or private blockchains. It aims to facilitate the tokenization of key business assets like inventory or contracts, and represents them on a blockchain, as tokens, contracts or payments.

EY Blockchain Analyzer

The EY Blockchain Analyzer platform is designed to facilitate and support Audit teams in the reconciliation of data between the client’s books and records and the public ledger. It helps Audit teams understand what clients are doing on the blockchain, and how their business is shaping up in that environment.

Nightfall

Nightfall makes transactions on public blockchains secure and private. It replaces sensitive business information with a type of cryptography called a Zero Knowledge Proof. This technology is designed to bring trust to public blockchain transactions and has been released in the public domain allowing for secure, private transfers and payments on the public Ethereum network.

Dye Pack

Dye Pack mitigates the risk of wallets being hacked and tokens being stolen in public blockchain transactions. It cryptographically tags private tokens, rendering them unspendable in the event of a theft and makes it possible for companies to issue replacement tokens. Dye Pack gives businesses confidence in adopting public blockchains for their private transactions.

Smart Contract and Token Testing

Smart Contract and Token Testing enables enterprise users to check the functionality, security, and the quality of smart contract implementation. It also as simulates transactions before being executed on the blockchain network.

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