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Xbox Live Forged 270 Million New Friendships During Lockdown, Says Phil Spencer

Xbox Live Forged 270 Million New Friendships During Lockdown, Says Phil Spencer

Ooh, friends.

Ewan Moore

Ewan Moore

The past few months have been undeniably bizarre for all of us. The coronavirus pandemic has forced almost every aspect of "normal" life to change, with countries around the world only just starting to lift lockdown measures after weeks of restrictions on where we can go, who we can see, and what we can do.

Throughout all of this, gaming has provided an undefinable source of comfort to many. It doesn't matter if you've gone back to an old favourite or spent this time trying out new games, the simple act of retreating into virtual worlds has been a much-needed escape in these troubling times.

Naturally, online gaming has played a huge role in keeping us connected with friends. I, for example, only started playing Call Of Duty: Warzone as a way to keep in touch with mates, and I'm so glad I did. As it turns out, millions of users have taken advantage of gaming as a lifeline - not only to play with old friends, but to forge new friendships.


In an interview with the BBC, Xbox boss Phil Spencer discussed the unique issues of attempting to launch a new console - the Xbox Series X - in a pandemic.

After once again stating that Microsoft intends to move ahead as planned with the launch, Spencer touched on how active the Xbox Live community has been during lockdown. In fact, there have been an incredible 270 million new friend relationships created between Xbox users - not too shabby.

"The nice thing about gaming is it has always been a social activity," Spencer said. "In fact, during this lockdown time, we've had over 270 million new friend relationships created on Xbox Live."

"So not only are people staying connected with their existing friends, they're finding new friends online as they're playing together, which is really great."

The Xbox Series X /

Spencer also talked about how the pandemic has slowed down the video game industry. He explained that while some things can still be done remotely, there are certain areas - such as motion capture for actors - that have had to be put on ice for the time being.

"Today's big triple-A blockbuster games involve hundreds of people coming together to build games," he said. "And we have seen a pause in some things, like motion-capture of actors and some symphonic work involving musicians, where people need to be close. But we're still launching games. The teams continue to work and find new ways to work together."

Expect to learn more about the Xbox Series X and Microsoft's next-gen plans later this Summer.

Featured Image Credit: Microsoft

Topics: Xbox, Xbox Series X