Microsoft wants to build an independent mobile store

As an alternative to Google’s Play Store and Apple’s App Store, Microsoft wants to establish its own store for mobile games. Current documents show this.

(Image: ArliftAtoz2205/Shutterstock.com)

Microsoft wants to use Activision Blizzard to build its own mobile store as an alternative to the offerings from Google and Apple. This is shown by current documents that the company has submitted to the British antitrust authorities, the Competition and Markets Authority.

In the document, Microsoft argues how the takeover of the US gaming company could have a positive impact on customers. The deal could therefore improve Microsoft’s chances of establishing a “next-generation game store” that would include a range of different device types – including explicitly mobile devices.

With the help of Activision Blizzard’s large communities, the Xbox Store can also be extended to mobile devices, Microsoft continues. In order to lure users away from the established Play Store and App Store, well-known and popular content is needed. Microsoft hopes that this content can also come from Activision Blizzard’s mobile division King.

Activision Blizzard bought King in 2016 for $6.9 billion. In Germany alone, almost 2.3 billion euros were turned over with mobile games in 2021, 500 million euros more than with consoles. Globally, eight games grossed more than $1 billion last year, including King’s Candy Crush, according to analytics firm SensorTower.

In the letter, Microsoft also once again emphasizes its own store guidelines, which the company publicly announced in February. Among other things, Microsoft names security, privacy, and transparency as the pillars of its stores. Own applications should be measured against the same standards as independent apps. In addition, Microsoft gives developer studios the option of using their own payment methods. In this way, developers can implement payment methods without having to pinch off the 30 percent commission that Apple and Google usually pay Microsoft.

Microsoft is thus presenting itself as an open alternative to the largely closed stores of Apple and Google, which have been the subject of lawsuits and political investigations several times in recent years. Apparently, Microsoft wants to appease cartel authorities who are still critical of the planned takeover of Activision-Blizzard.

Also part of this strategy is apparently downplaying its own cloud gaming division. At least since the end of Google’s Stadia, Microsoft’s Xbox Cloud Gaming has led the market. But overall, the cloud gaming sector is still “immature”, Microsoft writes in the document. “The reality is that cloud gaming is still in its infancy and unproven,” the letter to the Competition and Markets Authority said.

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