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Xbox is revving up a mobile games store

The mobile Xbox store would heavily feature Activision's mobile titles such as Call of Duty: Warzone and Candy Crush.

Justin Carter, Contributing Editor

October 19, 2022

2 Min Read
Graphic of various first-party Xbox franchise characters.

Microsoft's future plans for the Xbox include a store for mobile gaming similar to that of Google Play and the Apple App Store. The console maker's currently countering arguments made by the UK's Competitive Markets Authority (CMA) about its Activision Blizzard acquisition, and its full response mentions a desire to dive further into the mobile games market. 

"Microsoft currently has no meaningful presence in mobile gaming and the Transaction will bring much needed expertise in mobile game development, marketing and advertising," it wrote. "Activision Blizzard will be able to contribute its learnings from developing and publishing mobile games to Xbox gaming studios."

Beyond the many mobile games from subsidiary King, Activision Blizzard is beginning to release big spinoff titles of its popular properties. Diablo Immortal released earlier this year, which hit 20 million installs within a few months of release. There's also a mobile version of the free-to-play Call of Duty Warzone in development. 

"Xbox will seek to scale the Xbox Store to mobile, attracting gamers to a new Xbox Mobile Platform," the document continues. Converting App Store and Google Play users over to its Mobile Platform is Microsoft's main goal, which it hopes to achieve by "offering well-known and popular content." 

Xbox's mobile store may stand out from the rest of the pack

A mobile gaming push is far from out of the question for Xbox. Beyond Activision, publishers such as Electronic Arts and Krafton have credited mobile games for their recent quarterly successes.  

In creating a mobile games store, Microsoft said it would apply its "Open App Store Principles." Those principles, announced back in February, would let third-party developers run their own app stores on Xbox's mobile platform, and create their own payment systems for in-app purchases. 

The purported freedom that Microsoft's offering to third-party developers with mobile stores is a good way to draw interest from mobile developers. 

Last month, Game Developer spoke to ZiMad's Vladimir Romanov about this, and he explained that app stores outside of Apple and Google can be strong sources of revenue for those developers, and allow for multiple ways to earn revenue.

ZiMad's Magic Jigsaw Puzzles, for example, has an Amazon App Store version that gets much of its revenue via in-game ads. Conversely, Magic's Microsoft Store version profits from in-game purchases, where Windows Store users are reportedly more willing to spend money. 

"Our goal is to scale our success and revenue by engaging additional audiences unavailable on [the] App Store or Google Play Store for various reasons," said Romanov at the time. 

That success, continued Romanov, is more of an exception rather than the rule. Even so, alternative storefronts can be a boon to mobile developers, Xbox's mobile platform may be another way to gain attention and revenue. 

About the Author(s)

Justin Carter

Contributing Editor, GameDeveloper.com

A Kansas City, MO native, Justin Carter has written for numerous sites including IGN, Polygon, and SyFy Wire. In addition to Game Developer, his writing can be found at io9 over on Gizmodo. Don't ask him about how much gum he's had, because the answer will be more than he's willing to admit.

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