Xbox wants to build a mobile game store to compete with Google and Apple

Microsoft has outlined plans to create a “next generation game store” aided by its proposed acquisition of Activision Blizzard.

The company discussed its plans in a regulatory filing published this week by the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority, which is currently scrutinising the planned merger.

“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,” it said (spotted by The Verge).

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“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 behaviour. Microsoft hopes that by offering well-known and popular content, gamers will be more inclined to try something new.”

Xbox boss Phil Spencer claimed in August that Microsoft‘s planned acquisition of Activision Blizzard was primarily driven by the company’s mobile and PC gaming ambitions.

Asked by Bloomberg how the proposed $68.7 billion deal came about, Microsoft’s head of gaming said the company was motivated by a desire grow its creative capability on non-console platforms, particularly mobile.

“When we were thinking about what we are capable of doing today and where do we need to go, the biggest gaming platform on the planet is mobile phones,” he said. “One and a half billion people play on mobile phones.

“And I guess regretfully as Microsoft it’s not a place we have a native platform. As gaming, coming from console and PC, we don’t have a lot of creative capability that has built hit mobile games.

“One thing about the video game space is, if you’ve been around maybe too long, you know most of the creators out there, so you kind of know teams that could be a good fit in terms of what we were trying to do.

“But we really started the discussions, internally at least, on Activision Blizzard around the capability they had on mobile and then PC with Blizzard. Those were the two things that were really driving our interest.”

Activision Blizzard recently said its monthly active user base totalled 361 million for the quarter ended in June 2022.

Candy Crush maker King accounted for 240 million players, World of Warcraft studio Blizzard for 27 million, and Call of Duty publisher Activision for 94 million.