Technology

Microsoft Plans Xbox Mobile Storefront To Rival Apple and Google

The UK government’s investigation of Microsoft’s Activision Blizzard acquisition has revealed the company is currently developing its own Xbox mobile storefront to rival Apple and Google.

As reported by The Verge, Microsoft presented documents to the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority that claim its purchasing of Call of Duty publisher Activision Blizzard is, in part, to expand its mobile game presence.

“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,” the filing reads. “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.”

“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.”


It’s unclear exactly what Xbox’s mobile store would look like, but it would seemingly be a more dedicated way for users to purchase and play games through Xbox Cloud Gaming directly from a mobile phone.

While this isn’t unlike services it offers already, it would also allow Microsoft to give developers more freedom and sell add-ons directly, an initiative that Microsoft has spoken about pursuing previously. This could make Xbox’s platform more desirable to developers who, unlike on Apple’s App Store, wouldn’t lose a portion of the profit on every microtransaction.

Acquiring Activision Blizzard would certainly help Microsoft carve out a space in mobile gaming. The company noted later in the filing that three quarters of Activision Blizzard’s monthly active users are mobile customers, a colossal amount considering it also owns one of the most consistently popular online games of all time in World of Warcraft, Overwatch 2 (which hit 25 million players in its first week), and the aforementioned Call of Duty franchise.

The filing also noted that Activision Blizzard’s mobile titles – including Candy Crush Saga, Call of Duty Mobile, and Diablo: Immortal – accounted for more than half of its overall revenue in the first half of this year.

It’s a market the industry as a whole is pursuing, as in August 2022 Sony also announced a dedicated PlayStation Studios mobile division. It’s unclear if Xbox’s mobile plans will change if its acquisition of Activision Blizzard fails to go through. though given the value it sees in mobile gaming, it will likely pursue it with or without the likes of Call of Duty and Candy Crush.

Microsoft’s $ 68.7 billion deal has been scrutinized by various US senators, the city of New York, and the US Justice Department alongside the UK government, though Xbox boss Phil Spencer said he feels good about its progress.

Ryan Dinsdale is an IGN freelancer. He’ll talk about The Witcher all day.

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