Microsoft is building an Xbox mobile game store to challenge Apple and Google

The UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) is continuing its investigation into Microsoft’s $68.7 billion Activision Blizzard takeover and has sent inquiries to Microsoft. According to a report by foreign media The Verge, in Microsoft’s latest filing, they stated that a major motivation for the acquisition was to expand their influence in the field of mobile games, and it was their plan to build an Xbox mobile game store platform. part.

Microsoft mentioned in the document:

Call of Duty Mobile and Candy Crush Saga are two very popular mobile games from Activision and King that Microsoft could use to build a game store that competes with Google Play and the App Store. But since Apple doesn’t allow a third-party app store on iOS, Microsoft’s future on the iPhone is hard to judge. But none of this will stop them from building an Xbox mobile game store. That means their strategy for pushing mobile games could apply to multiple platforms — not just phones and tablets.

In addition to hardware, profit is also a big factor. Games are one of the most popular app categories on mobile and generate revenue for the store through in-app purchases. Microsoft clearly wants a piece of the pie, too. They stated:

However, the CMA’s investigation focused on console gaming and did not pay much attention to the possibility of Microsoft’s entry into mobile gaming. Microsoft sees console gaming as a smaller and smaller share of the overall market, and in a chart published on the news site of Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard, Microsoft mentions that the entire gaming market is worth $165 billion in 2020, with consoles accounting for 330 percent of the total. $40 billion (24%) for PC, and $85 billion (51%) for mobile gaming.

However, building a new mobile game store against the Google Play Store or the App Store will be a huge challenge. If Microsoft wants to be successful, they will need to attract third-party developers.

Microsoft appears to be working on a series of related rules that would allow other developers to freely run their own app stores on the Xbox mobile platform and have access to its own in-app purchase payment system, which Apple obviously can’t do. (Though these rules haven’t yet been applied to the Xbox console, Microsoft said earlier this year that it was working to gradually unify the guidelines across platforms.)

Microsoft says these rules will also apply to the future Xbox mobile game store, which could be the main driving force for developers to join. Epic Games may be interested in this, given its confrontation with Apple’s App Store policies in recent years.

In Epic’s lawsuit against Apple, they have called on Microsoft to help them defend their case, and Microsoft has indeed put pressure on Apple through changes to the Windows Store. Epic didn’t win the legal battle, and Fortnite still hasn’t returned to the iPhone. Earlier this year, Epic also brought Fortnite to the Xbox cloud through Microsoft.

The close partnership between the two could prompt Epic to join Microsoft’s mobile gaming landscape early, Epic has embraced Samsung’s Galaxy Store on Android, and if the Xbox mobile game store also has Fortnite and Call of Duty Hands Tour”, that would be a good starting point for it.