We are living in
unprecedented times. The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the lives of people
around the world and changed the way we go about our daily lives. Here at
Microsoft, we’re constantly asking ourselves what we can do to support people
during this challenging time. To me, the most important thing to remember is
that we’re all living and learning through this together.
I have previously stated that I believe gaming has a unique power to bring people together, to entertain, to inspire and connect us, and I believe that’s even more true under these unique circumstances. Many are looking to gaming to remain connected with their friends while practicing social distancing, and we are seeing an unprecedented demand for gaming from our customers right now.
With hundreds of millions of kids at home due to coronavirus-related school closures more kids are going online to spend time with their friends, explore online worlds and learn through play. Families are trying to navigate the need to help their children with distance learning and balance that with taking time to have fun. That’s why we announced today that we are adding a new Education category to the Minecraft Marketplace with free educational content players and parents can download.
The educational content we’ve curated lets players explore the
International Space Station though a partnership with NASA, learn
to code with a robot, visit famous Washington D.C. landmarks, find
and build 3D fractals, learn what it’s like to be a marine biologist, and so
much more. This is launching for free
download today and will be available through June 30, 2020.
With so many turning to gaming, helping everyone stay safer online is also a top priority for us. This is why we provide family settings that help parents choose the screen time limits, content filters, purchase limits, communication and sharing settings that are right for their families. While kids may be home from school, family settings can help balance gaming with offline schoolwork and other responsibilities.
There are also some ways
that we can bring brand-new players into the fold. For example, our Copilot
feature can be especially helpful for children, new gamers or those who need
unique configurations to play, allowing two controllers to play as if they were
We understand the important
role gaming is playing right now to connect people and provide joy in these
isolating and stressful times, and our teams are working diligently to ensure
we can be there for our players. To that end, we are actively monitoring
performance and usage trends to ensure we’re optimizing the service for our
customers worldwide and accommodating for new growth and demand.
While these are unprecedented times we are living in, I
have no doubt that we’ll come through this experience stronger than ever.
Stay safe and be good to one another.