Microsoft Intends to Build an Xbox Mobile Game Store

The company plans to build its "next-generation game store" leveraging Activision and King's mobile titles.

Microsoft apparently intends to build its own mobile gaming store to take on Apple's App Store and Google's Google Play.

The company first hinted that it is going to build its "next-generation game store" in February this year when it published an updated set of "Open App Store Principles" saying that app stores on "the most relevant and popular everyday devices" including PCs and mobile platforms are crucial in realizing the company's vision to "enable gamers to play any game on any device anywhere."

And now, as spotted by The Verge, Microsoft has detailed its plans regarding the mobile gaming store in a filing to the UK's competition regulator CMA which is currently investigating its deal with Activision Blizzard.

In the filing, Microsoft stated that the deal will improve its 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," the company wrote. "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 company is seemingly planning to leverage such Activision Blizzard's mobile titles as Call of Duty: Mobile and Candy Crush Saga, published by Activision and King, respectively, to help build out a game store that could be able to rival the App Store and Google Play.

In the document, Microsoft also said that the deal will give it a "meaningful presence in mobile gaming" noting that a significant part of Activision's revenues come from mobile titles published by its King division as well as the majority of Activision's monthly active users are the company's mobile customers.

"Microsoft currently has no meaningful presence in mobile gaming and the Transaction will bring much needed expertise in mobile game development, marketing and advertising," Microsoft wrote. "Activision Blizzard will be able to contribute its learnings from developing and publishing mobile games to Xbox gaming studios."

In its investigation, the CMA mostly focuses on console gaming expressing its concern that Microsoft could use its control of games like Call of Duty to hurt its competitors and pays little attention to Microsoft's attempt to enter mobile gaming. However, Microsoft argues that the console market only comprises a small part of the total gaming revenue.

On a website dedicated to the purchase of Activision Blizzard, Microsoft published a graph showing revenue growth in the gaming industry. According to it, the total gaming revenue for 2020 was $165 billion, while the console market only makes up 20% of it ($33 billion). Meanwhile, the PC market generated $40 billion (24%), and mobile gaming comprised the major part of the total gaming revenues – 51%, or $85 billion.

You can find Microsoft's filing with the CMA here. Also, don't forget to join our Reddit page and our Telegram channel, follow us on Instagram and Twitter, where we share breakdowns, the latest news, awesome artworks, and more. 

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