Microsoft intends to develop an Xbox-branded mobile gaming shop

Microsoft intends to develop an Xbox-branded mobile gaming shop

Microsoft wants to give your phone a taste of Xbox game purchasing. According to a business filing with the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), Microsoft intends to establish a “next generation” Xbox shop that will be accessible on mobile devices as well as consoles and PCs. Unsurprisingly, the store would rely largely on material from the planned Activision-Blizzard merger. Call of Duty Mobile and King’s more casual games (think Candy Crush) account for more than half of Activision’s income and, according to Microsoft, will help draw players to the new platform.

According to the firm, the acquisition would improve Microsoft’s mobile gaming and ad income. It would also provide “critical expertise” in the development and marketing of these titles.

The software behemoth is well aware that there will be difficulties. According to the filing, it will take a “significant change” in consumer behavior to entice them away from the Apple App Store and Google Play Store. Microsoft claims it will apply its open app store concept to the Xbox mobile shop, which will include equal treatment for third-party programs and in-app purchase options.

Microsoft’s planned launch of the Xbox mobile gaming shop is far from guaranteed. The CMA is launching a thorough inquiry into the Activision Blizzard acquisition due to worries that it may harm competition, notably in console gaming. On iPhones and iPads, there is also no practical method to install a separate Xbox game shop. While Android users may install third-party apps, Apple forces them to utilize the App Store. Microsoft struggled to get Xbox titles to the App Store and had to rely on browser-based Game Pass streaming. Microsoft may have to settle with recruiting Android players in the absence of antitrust cases compelling Apple to open its platform.

The filing’s approach is not subtle. Microsoft aims to persuade UK authorities that the Activision Blizzard acquisition would maintain or even boost competition, and the potential of an Xbox mobile shop should assist. However, agencies such as the CMA may not perceive it this way. Officials are still worried that Microsoft’s prospective ownership of Call of Duty on the console, cloud, and mobile platforms would give the firm too much power over the games industry, and the developer’s commitments to support competitor platforms may not be comforting enough.

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