Microsoft working to maintain Xbox Live amid "unprecedented demand"

As educational content made free in Minecraft.

In a message to the Xbox community, Microsoft's gaming boss Phil Spencer has reassured fans the company is working hard to ensure its online gaming services remain rock solid during a period of "unprecedented demand".

Many people have turned to video games as a method of entertainment and escape during the global coronavirus crisis, which has been reflected in a surge in online gaming and retail game sales.

"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," Spencer wrote. "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.

"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 optimising 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."

To aid those with children at home (or any Minecraft fan looking for something new to explore), Microsoft has released a swathe of educational content for free.

Originally built for Minecraft: Education Edition - Microsoft's version of the game designed for schools - the content makes up a series of educational worlds.

You can visit the International Space Station or burrow into the innards of the human eye, learn about renewable energy, Greek history and marine biology, and more.

Each world features lesson plans, building challenges and puzzles.

Simply visit the Minecraft store in any Bedrock version of the game (so, on Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Windows, plus VR, Android and iOS). All content is free to download until 30th June.

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Tom Phillips

Tom Phillips

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Tom is Eurogamer's news editor. He writes lots of news, some of the puns and all the stealth Destiny articles.

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