Ernst & Young (EY) and Microsoft have announced the expansion of Microsoft’s blockchain-based solution for gaming right and royalties management – to help Xbox gaming partners and content creators.
The expansion looks to accelerate contract digitalisation by creating contracts faster using AI based on Microsoft Azure, as well as seamlessly generate and integrate statements and invoices with ERP (enterprise resource planning) applications. Accounting entries will be generated from the blockchain platform into existing ERP applications.
The companies said the expanded solution reduced processing time by 99%, with up to two million transactions per day able to be processed. There was 100% near real-time calculation of royalties using digital contracts across game development partners.
Luke Fewel, general manager of global finance operations at Microsoft, said the go-live successfully generated the first round of partner payments using blockchain and smart contracts.
“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,” said Fewel. “We look forward to continuing to scale this solution across our royalties ecosystem – improving our processes and the continuation of our modern finance journey.”
Microsoft and EY have previously collaborated in this area. An EY article explains the wider rationale behind the initiative. The three primary steps were finding an initial solution, refreshing the royalty calculation system, and then enabling it all to be delivered real-time.
“Microsoft Xbox’s legacy system for securing and managing royalty payments was cumbersome, sometimes taking over 45 days to issue payments,” EY wrote. “The first step in refreshing was to introduce a new digital contract. By opting in, industry participants agreed to new terms with a simple e-signature. The legal terms were then encoded in the blockchain network in the form of smart contracts.
“As consumers purchase digital content, the smart contracts apply the encoded contractual logic and instantly calculate the royalty,” the company added. “This information is then sent to each participant’s node, creating an immutable record of transactions and royalty obligations. Not only does this provide creators peace of mind, it allows them to record financial transactions daily, vastly improving their forecasting and reporting capabilities.”
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