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    Microsoft is building an Xbox gaming store for mobiles to take on Play Store

    Business
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    Last updated: October 21st, 2022 at 07:51 UTC+02:00

    Microsoft is planning to build an Xbox-branded smartphone gaming store for Android and iOS platforms to take on the Google Play Store and Apple's App Store. The information was spotted by The Verge in documents related to an investigation that is being conducted by the UK's Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) into Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard.

    CMA is responsible for strengthening business competition and reducing anti-competitive activities, and the regulatory agency is looking into how Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard will affect the market and if this deal reduces competition by any means. In filings submitted to CMA, Microsoft explains that its acquisition of Activision Blizzard will only help in increasing the competition rather than killing it. 

    The Xbox Store on Android and iOS will be an alternative to the Google Play Store and the App Store, and according to Microsoft, shifting consumers from those two platforms to its game store will require a major shift in consumer behavior. Microsoft believes that offering well-known and popular games in its store, such as Call of Duty: Mobile, which is published by Activision, will do just the trick. To do that, acquiring Activision Blizzard is a necessary step.

    A graph posted by Microsoft on its website shows gaming revenue from different platforms. It values the entire gaming industry at $165 billion in 2020, and mobile gaming makes up 51% ($85 billion) of the total market size, with PC and console gaming at second and third positions with $40 billion and $33 billion market share, respectively. Since mobile gaming has the highest revenue of all, it is only obvious that Microsoft also wants a piece of that pie.

    Lately, Microsoft has been strongly pushing mobile gaming with its Xbox Cloud Gaming service. The company was quick to offer Xbox Cloud Gaming on Valve Steam Deck, and it also partnered with Logitech and Razer for their cloud gaming-focused handheld devices. Similarly, Microsoft could release its own game store on Android just like Epic did with the help of Samsung’s Galaxy Store. However, Microsoft will have a tough time offering it on App Store due to Apple’s restrictions. 

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