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Microsoft ready to challenge the Play Store and the App Store

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Microsoft is preparing an Xbox store to access mobile games. It would come to compete with the App Store and the Play Store on iOS and Android, but the course will be strewn with pitfalls.

Documents sent by Microsoft as part of the acquisition of Activision Blizzard reveal that the Redmond giant is working on a games store for mobile devices. This “store” would arrive under the Xbox banner and would compete with the App Store and the Play Store. The application stores of Apple and Google are now essential for accessing mobile games. This sector is also experiencing significant growth and Microsoft knows it only too well.

Indeed, the firm behind Windows announced earlier this year its intention to buy Activision Blizzard. The British competition policeman, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), is currently interested in this acquisition of an amount of 68.7 billion dollars. For the needs of his investigation, she requested information from the firm headed by Satya Nadella. It is in its documents that Microsoft mentions its ambition to develop its presence in the mobile gaming industry. Activision Blizzard is known to be the creator of the series call of dutyit is also active on mobile via King (Candy Crush Saga) and Call of Duty Mobile. Inevitably, Microsoft intends to position itself in this very lucrative segment.

A big deal

The American giant declares that this acquisition will improve its ” ability […] create a next-generation game store that works across a range of devices, including mobile, with the addition of content from Activision Blizzard. Building on Activision Blizzard’s existing gaming communities, Xbox will look to expand the Xbox Store to mobile, bringing gamers to a new Xbox Mobile platform.. The message could not be clearer and Redmond’s objective will be to grab market share from Google and Apple.

Aware of having missed the turn of the mobile, Microsoft has been trying for years to make a place for itself. The game Call of Duty Mobile enjoyed great success while Candy Crush Saga still boasts over 270 million monthly players worldwide. In its report, the American company also specifies that ” them mobile game revenue King’s Division and titles such as Call of Duty: Mobile; as well as ancillary revenue, represented more than half of Activision Blizzard’s revenue in the first half of 2022 ». Current mobile apps and games, however, remain tied to Google’s Play Store and Apple’s App Store.

Mobile gaming is Activision Blizzard’s biggest source of revenue

Microsoft also knows that it will be difficult to change the habits of players. “However, moving consumers away from the Google Play Store and the App Store on mobile devices will 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 »adds the group to its document.

Opposing Google and Apple’s rules, a very complicated task

The Android operating system, known to be open, will give the future Xbox store a chance. Indeed, third-party stores exist and are easy to install on a device. On the other hand, the task looks difficult on iOS which does not accept third-party application stores. The policy ofApple is particularly strict and Microsoft has already paid the price with Xbox Cloud Gaming. To access the Game Pass service from Apple systems, you must go through a web app. We remember the tensions between Apple and the video game publisher Epic Games. The latter had also requested and obtained subliminal support from Microsoft before his trial against the Cupertino company.

In addition to the strike force of the publisher of Fortnite, having Call of Duty in its stable (on console and mobile) is an asset for Microsoft. It should also be noted that the battle will not only be played on smartphones. In recent months, portable consoles have been on the rise with the successive releases of Valve’s Steam Deck (SteamOS), the Logitech G Cloud and the Razer Edge (Android). Each time, Microsoft and Xbox Cloud Gaming are not far away.

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