Microsoft is getting into the app store game with an Xbox mobile gaming store that will challenge Apple and Google.
Microsoft is in the process of purchasing Activision Blizzard, although the deal is undergoing intensive scrutiny by the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA). According to The Verge, Microsoft has filed documents with the CMA outlining its plans to launch an Xbox mobile game store.
The filing outlines the company’s goals and vision:
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.
Microsoft clearly sees the opportunity as a major potential money-maker:
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.
Microsoft faces significant challenges to its Activision deal, with the CMA looking closely at the acquisition. Should the deal go through, however, it looks like Apple and Google may have some major competition on their hands.