Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard continues to be the subject of investigations by various bodies around the world. One is the UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), which revealed Microsoft’s plans to create an Xbox store for Android and iOS phones in documents filed in a lawsuit.
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Microsoft directly states that it intends to create a mobile game store in the following excerpt from the document:
The transaction will enhance Microsoft’s ability to create a next-generation game store that operates on a variety of devices, including mobile as a result of the addition of Activision Blizzard content. Building on Activision Blizzard’s existing gaming communities, Xbox will look to scale the Xbox Store to mobile, attracting players to a new Xbox Mobile Platform.
The Redmond-based company acknowledges that “a major shift in consumer behavior” will be needed, but is keen to provide “known and popular content” to encourage users to test out its new game store instead of Google Play and the App Store.
In this way, we can assume that some of the titles offered will be Call of Duty: Mobile and Candy Crush Saga, from Activision and King, which belong to Microsoft. Among both, the company cites Call of Duty: Mobile, which accounted for more than half of Activision’s revenue in the first quarter of 2022.
However, the company is also expected to offer enhanced gaming options via streaming, which can include AAA games, as they do not need to be installed on the device and run on remote servers.
Going into more detail, Microsoft has already revealed that mobile titles accounted for 51% of the global gaming market revenue in 2020 with $85 billion, consoles grossed $33 billion (20%) and PCs $40 billion ( 24%) of the total of US$ 165 billion.
Microsoft is still pledging to allow developers and other app stores to use their own payment systems for in-game purchases, a benefit Apple doesn’t offer and has already come under fire from Epic Games, which has allied itself with Microsoft. in February.
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While the idea looks promising, Microsoft will have to deal with approval from regulatory bodies, which are still looking at how the Xbox store and Game Pass could affect competition if Call of Duty is made available on those platforms. Sony’s argument is that Microsoft can make Call of Duty an exclusive, although the owner of Windows denies this possibility.
On the other hand, Microsoft accuses Sony of paying for “blocking rights” to keep Call of Duty out of Game Pass:
The agreement between Activision Blizzard and Sony includes restrictions on Activision Blizzard’s ability to place Call of Duty titles on Game Pass for several years.
Microsoft expects the agreements to be finalized by mid-2023, when the CMA is expected to issue its final verdict on the acquisition and use of Activision Blizzard titles.