Microsoft Plans Next-Generation Mobile Game Store to Take on Apple and Google

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Microsoft is developing a “next-generation” mobile gaming store that will rely on titles from Activision and King to sway users away from Apple’s App Store and the Google Play Store, according to new filings with the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) that stem from its ongoing investigation of the $68.7 billion Activision Blizzard acquisition proposed by Microsoft. The Windows maker hinted at a new store earlier this year, but the latest notes, which include mention of a new “Xbox Mobile Platform,” make Microsoft’s intentions clear and allude to how mobile users will be able to purchase games directly from a scaled-up Xbox store, one that should host popular games that include Candy Crush and Call of Duty: Mobile.

From the CMA, as shared by The Verge:

The transaction will improve Microsoft’s ability to create a next generation game store which operates across a range of devices, including mobile as a result of the addition of Activision Blizzard’s content. Building on Activision Blizzard’s existing communities of gamers, Xbox will seek to scale the Xbox Store to mobile, attracting gamers to a new Xbox Mobile Platform. Shifting consumers away from the Google Play Store and App Store on mobile devices will, however, require a major shift in consumer behavior. Microsoft hopes that by offering well-known and popular content, gamers will be more inclined to try something new.

The transaction gives Microsoft a meaningful presence in mobile gaming. Mobile gaming revenues from the King division and titles such as Call of Duty: Mobile, as well as ancillary revenue, represented more than half of Activision Blizzard’s … revenues in the first half of 2022. Mobile customers account for around three-quarters of its MAU. Microsoft currently has no meaningful presence in mobile gaming and the Transaction will bring much needed expertise in mobile game development, marketing and advertising. Activision Blizzard will be able to contribute its learnings from developing and publishing mobile games to Xbox gaming studios.

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Tsing Mui
News poster at The FPS Review.

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