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Xbox Cloud Gaming

Microsoft has seemingly confirmed it is building an Xbox mobile store that will compete with the Google Play Store and App Store on Android and iOS. While the company has previously hinted at the store but has now revealed it to the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA).

In an effort to appease the regulator over its $69bn deal to acquire Activision Blizzard, Microsoft says that the purchase will help expand its position in mobile gaming. While Microsoft is increasingly becoming a dominant presence in cloud and PC gaming, it is lacking in mobile.

Developing an Xbox mobile store would allow the company to take its gaming mobile. Activision Blizzard will give the company many popular mobile franchises, including Candy Crush and Call of Duty.

In its filings, Microsoft explain the following about the Xbox mobile store:

“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.”

Gaming Competition

It is worth noting Microsoft’s ambition does not seem to be to compete with the Play Store and App Store in any area other than games. In terms of apps, those two marketplaces will remain dominant. However, Microsoft’s believes Xbox can become a gaming alternative on mobile. This is especially the case with the growing popularity of Xbox Cloud Gaming.

“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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