EY has been partnering with Microsoft to build a blockchain-based solution for Xbox to collect gaming rights and royalties on their platform. Now, the Big Four firm is helping Microsoft expand that platform so Microsoft Xbox gaming partners — along with its network of artists, musicians, writers and other content creators — can have increased visibility into tracking, management and payment processing for royalty contracts.
The expanded solution performs real-time calculation of royalties using digital contracts across game development partners. The blockchain application has been tested to support performance under a high volume of usage — the software industry’s so-called “soak testing” — and is capable of processing two million transactions per day, according to Microsoft.
EY’s involvement is part of the firm’s strategy to help business-to-business enterprise clients that have contractually driven, multiparty cash flow distributions to create similar blockchain platforms to help them automate contract-related calculations and processing.
“Blockchains could well become the glue that digitizes interactions between enterprises,” said Paul Brody, EY global blockchain leader, in a statement. “This go-live represents another big step on that path, extending the level of automation and cycle time compression all the way from digitizing the contract to posting financial accruals. Blockchain solutions like this help raise the bar for enterprise integration, from point-to-point integration to ecosystem-level automation.”
The video game industry, though a modern and technologically advanced one, has nevertheless relied on old forms of accounting when it comes to gaming rights and royalties. According to Microsoft, it could traditionally take up to 45 days for Xbox to access some royalty statements. The blockchain platform provides real time secure information, bringing access time to minutes.
“In this go-live, we successfully generated the first round of partner payments utilizing blockchain and smart contract technology,” said Luke Fewel, general manager of global finance operations for Microsoft, also in a statement. “This expanded solution will help streamline financial and operational processes with the ability to scale, reduce heavy manual overhead and improve the experience for Microsoft’s gaming partners. We look forward to continuing to scale this solution across our royalties ecosystem — improving our processes and the continuation of our modern finance journey.”