Since July this year, the Competition and Markets Authority has been investigating Microsoft for its Activision Blizzard merger. Recently, the UK government’s investigation revealed that Microsoft is developing its own mobile gaming store to rival the likes of Google and Apple.
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.
Despite being one of the largest tech companies in the world, Microsoft doesn’t have its own mobile gaming platform. The company aims to change that by acquiring Call of Duty maker Activision Blizzard for nearly $70 billion.
Activision Blizzard’s merger with Microsoft will instantly benefit Xbox owners. If the deal goes through, Xbox users will immediately get access to popular Activision titles such as Call of Duty, Warcraft, and Diablo.
Acquiring Activision will greatly help Microsoft to gain a significant stake in the mobile gaming market. The company also added in the filing,
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.
It is still unclear what Microsoft’s mobile gaming store would look like. We can assume that mobile gamers will be able to directly play and purchase games via Xbox Cloud Gaming using Microsoft’s store.
Microsoft must attract as many developers as possible if it wishes to be a successful rival to the Apple and Google Play Store.
The Microsoft Blizzard merger is not expected to take place before 2023. For now, Microsoft’s sole focus is on getting the greenlit from CMA for its merger.