As the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) continues its investigation into Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard, they asked Microsoft for context with their decision. Microsoft said in its filings that one of the big motivations for the purchase was to help build out its mobile gaming presence. This includes plans for an Xbox mobile gaming platform and store.
Microsoft said “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 has been pushing into the mobile gaming space with Xbox Cloud Gaming. Their streaming initiative has become an option for gamers to play on mobile devices and Microsoft has been able to put it on emerging handhelds like the Steam Deck as well as Logitech and Razer’s cloud gaming-focused handhelds.
Going into why the company wants to get into the mobile gaming space, Microsoft said “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.”