Real-world strategy

EY-Parthenon – helping CEOs reframe their future today with real-world strategies for tomorrow.

Explore

Transformation Realized™

Helping you realize your transformation through the power of people, technology and innovation.

Explore

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

Reframe your future xbox gaming grid static no zoom article
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.
Student using digital tablet vr classoom
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.

Transformation Realized

Transforming businesses through the power of people, technology and innovation.

Discover more

Contact us

Like what you’ve seen? Get in touch to learn more.

Girl lighted colorful code
Velon hammer series street race

2021 Transparency Report

The EY South Africa Transparency Report shares insight into our data-first audit approach, unwavering focus on sustainable audit quality and the digital audit.

Explore

Africa Attractiveness Report 2021

Reset for growth: fast forward

 
The Africa Attractiveness Report is a trends and insights report with data and analyses that provides readers with a deeper understanding of the investment flows into the Africa market. 
 

Explore 

EY Africa Tax Summit 2021

Our highly successful Africa Tax Summit, ‘Beyond COVID-19: Resetting the Africa tax and trade agenda’ returns from 25 – 28 October 2021. Book your seat here.

Click here

EY-Parthenon presents the Business Talk Podcast: Season 5

Visit our Podcast Hub for the latest EY Africa episodes. 

Visit Podcast Hub

Gender Mainstreaming Awards 2021: EY Africa Overall Africa Champion

Find out why EY Africa is the Africa Champion 2021 as awarded at Business Engage’s 9th Annual Gender Mainstreaming Awards on 9 September 2021.

Click here

The 10th Annual Excellence in Integrated Reporting Survey and Awards.  

Learn about the Top 10 excellence companies; watch the Awards event and read more about purpose-led growth strategies, international sustainability standards and more.

Click here

Velon hammer series street race
1154487246

EY-Parthenon Africa – Strategy Realised

Helping CEOs design and deliver strategies to manage complex challenges and build long-term value for all their stakeholders.

Visit the homepage 

Join our EY Africa Community.

 

For our latest jobs, news and insights. Sign up here

Meet Angela Allen, EY Africa Talent Acquisition Leader (pictured). Watch now

Curious about working at EY? Ask our Candidate Assistant. Chat now

In challenging times, we’re #BetterTogether to build a better working world.

Through actions both big and small, our people are helping each other, clients and society tackle COVID-19 challenges and build an even better working world.

Find out more

Velon hammer series street race
People walking on colored lines painted on asphalt

Living our Purpose

 An open letter from Ajen Sita, EY Africa CEO

Read more

Direct to your inbox

Stay up to date with our Editor's Picks newsletter. 

Subscribe

Next

Who we are