Microsoft is building an Xbox mobile gaming store to take on Apple and Google (2023)

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Microsoft is building an Xbox mobile store to directly offer games on mobile devices, challenging Apple and Google. The software giant first hinted at a “next-generation” store it would “build for games” earlier this year but has now quietly revealed details of the plans in filings with the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA).

The CMA is currently investigating the $68.7 billion Activision Blizzard acquisition and has asked Microsoft for context. In its filings, Microsoft says a big motivation for the purchase is to help build out its mobile gaming presence. Its plans for this space apparently include creating an Xbox mobile gaming platform and store. Here’s what the company says in the filings:

The transaction will improve Microsoft’s ability to create a next generation game store which operates across a range of devices, including mobile as a result of the addition of Activision Blizzard’s content. Building on Activision Blizzard’s existing communities of gamers, Xbox will seek to scale the Xbox Store to mobile, attracting gamers to a new Xbox Mobile Platform. Shifting consumers away from the Google Play Store and App Store on mobile devices will, however, 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.

Call of Duty: Mobile and Candy Crush Saga are two hugely popular mobile games published by Activision and King, respectively, and Microsoft could leverage these titles to help build out a game store to rival Google Play and the App Store. Given Apple’s policies blocking third-party app stores on iOS, it’s difficult to imagine Microsoft competing on iPhones anytime soon. But that’s clearly not stopping it from envisioning an Xbox mobile app store.

Microsoft’s acknowledgment of a mobile gaming push comes as the company increasingly positions Xbox Cloud Gaming as an option for mobile gaming on emerging handhelds. Microsoft was quick to support Xbox Cloud Gaming on Valve’s Steam Deck, followed by a partnership with Logitech and Razer for their cloud gaming-focused handhelds. That means a push into mobile gaming could happen on multiple fronts — not just on phones and tablets.

Beyond hardware, there’s a lot of revenue at stake here, too. Games are some of the most popular downloads on mobile and drive in-app purchases on app stores. Microsoft clearly wants a piece of that pie. Look at how the company describes the opportunity:

(Video) Microsoft Plans Xbox Mobile Storefront To Rival Apple and Google - IGN Daily Fix

The transaction gives Microsoft a meaningful presence in mobile gaming. Mobile gaming revenues from the King division and titles such as Call of Duty: Mobile, as well as ancillary revenue, represented more than half of Activision Blizzard’s ... revenues in the first half of 2022. Mobile customers account for around three-quarters of its MAU. Microsoft currently has no meaningful presence in mobile gaming and the Transaction will bring much needed expertise in mobile game development, marketing and advertising. ActivisionBlizzard will be able to contribute its learnings from developing and publishing mobile games to Xbox gaming studios.

However, the CMA has barely discussed the potential for Microsoft’s entrance into mobile gaming as part of its investigation and is instead largely focusing on console gaming, which Microsoft argues is an increasingly smaller part of the overall market. In a graph posted at Microsoft’s Activision Blizzard acquisition site, the company depicts the entire gaming market as worth $165 billion in 2020, with consoles making up $33 billion (20 percent), PCs at $40 billion (24 percent), and mobile gaming at $85 billion (51 percent).

Microsoft is building an Xbox mobile gaming store to take on Apple and Google (1)

Image: Microsoft

(Video) Microsoft Opening An XBOX Mobile Gaming Store - Compete With Apple and Google #shorts

Building a successful rival to the Google Play Store or App Store would be a huge challenge, though, and Microsoft will need to woo third-party developers if it hopes to make inroads.

The company seems to be laying the groundwork here by committing to a set of principles that would allow developers to freely run their own app stores on its Xbox mobile platform and offer their own payment systems to process in-app purchases. That’s a benefit Apple certainly doesn’t offer. (These commitments don’t fully extend to Xbox consoles yet, but Microsoft said earlier this year it’s “committed to closing the gap on the remaining principles over time.”)

Microsoft says these same principles will also apply to the future Xbox mobile store, which could be enough to lure developers onto the platform. One company that might be particularly interested is Epic Games, which has allied itself with Microsoft in the past few years in the fight against Apple’s App Store policies.

Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney welcomed Microsoft’s first hints at an open app store model in 2019 ahead of a giant battle between Epic and Apple a year later that saw Fortnite disappear from iPhones. Epic has been arguing that Apple should allow third-party payment systems in its App Store or even allow rival app stores to function on iPhones and iPads.

(Video) Xbox wants to build a mobile game store to compete with Google and Apple

Epic eventually called on Microsoft to help argue its case in court, and Microsoft cranked up the pressure on Apple with some significant Windows store changes days ahead of the Epic v. Apple trial last year.

Epic didn’t win its legal argument, and Fortnite still isn’t back on the iPhone. But Epic did turn to Microsoft to bring Fortnite to Xbox Cloud Gaming earlier this year after court documents revealed Epic originally blocked the game from Xbox Cloud Gaming as the service was “competitive with our PC offerings.”

This closer partnership between the companies could help persuade Epic to come on board early with Microsoft’s mobile gaming plans. Epic has already embraced Samsung’s Galaxy Store on Android, and having Fortnite and Call of Duty: Mobile on Microsoft’s Xbox mobile game store would be a good start in a difficult task to take on Apple and Google.

However, a big potential stumbling block for Microsoft’s mobile gaming ambitions could be its control of Call of Duty on both mobile and console. Microsoft has seen success with Xbox Game Pass, and it has made it clear it wants to bring Activision games to the service. Regulators are now weighing how this would impact competition.

Xbox Game Pass is also at the heart of the ongoing battles between Microsoft and Sony over Call of Duty. Sony is arguing that Microsoft could take Call of Duty away from PlayStation entirely, while Microsoft says that wouldn’t make business sense. This disagreement has spilled out into a public war of words between Sony’s PlayStation chief and Microsoft’s head of Xbox, but the real conflict is happening behind closed doors.

Related

  • Microsoft pleads for its Activision Blizzard deal as UK regulator signals in-depth review
  • Microsoft will keep Call of Duty on PlayStation for “several more years” beyond existing deal
  • Sony says Microsoft’s Call of Duty offer was “inadequate on manylevels”
  • Microsoft takes the gloves off as it battles Sony for its Activision acquisition

Microsoft now says keepingCall of Dutyon PlayStation is a “commercial imperative for the Xbox business and the economics of the transaction” and that it would put revenue at risk if it pulledCall of Dutyfrom Sony’s consoles. “Microsoft has been clear that it is counting on revenues from the distribution of Activision Blizzard games on Sony PlayStation.”

But even if Call of Duty stays on PlayStation, Sony could still lose out on serious revenue if Microsoft offers the title on Xbox Game Pass. Microsoft previously claimed that Sony is paying for “blocking rights” to keep some games off Xbox Game Pass and now says that’s the case with Call of Duty. “The agreement between Activision Blizzard and Sony includes restrictions on the ability of Activision Blizzard to place Call of Duty titles on Game Pass for a number of years,” says Microsoft in its filings.

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The CMA and other regulators now have the unenviable task of untangling these arguments between Sony and Microsoft and figuring out exactly how this deal could harm consumers or competition. Microsoft still hopes to close this deal out by spring 2023, but there’s a good chance we have months of battles ahead — as well as the opportunity to gain rare insights, as with these mobile plans, into the secret ambitions of the gaming industry.

FAQs

Why was store removed from Xbox app? ›

Microsoft has told Stevivor why Store functionality — specifically, “purchase capabilities” — were removed from the Xbox app on both iOS and Android. As we suspected, it's all to do with rules governing in-app purchases inside the Apple and Google ecosystems.

Is Xbox owned by Google? ›

Xbox is a video gaming brand created and owned by Microsoft.

What is Xbox mission statement? ›

We believe that play is the thing that unites everyone, because when everyone plays, we all win.

What is Microsoft planning to do with Call of Duty? ›

Now, Microsoft says it has struck a deal with Nintendo to put Call of Duty on devices like the Switch if the Activision acquisition closes. Microsoft Gaming CEO Phil Spencer also said his company has reached a deal with Valve to keep bringing Call of Duty titles to Steam if and when the Activision merger goes through.

Why are games deleted from Play Store? ›

Sometimes, an app disappears from the Play Store simply because the developer themselves took it down. This could be for any number of reasons. Android is an evolving operating system, and perhaps the developer doesn't have the time or will to keep the app updated.

Is discord on Xbox yet? ›

To join a Discord voice channel on your Xbox console: Press the Xbox button  on your controller to open the Guide. Go to Parties & chats and select Discord. Select a Discord server from the list and press the A button .

Why did Xbox fail? ›

Licensing, pricing, Kinecting. You could argue that the third-generation Xbox was, at the time, more advanced than consumers realized. Microsoft simply didn't know how to sell it properly. But there were three big issues with the Xbox One before and after its launch: game licenses, the price tag and the Kinect.

Does Xbox exist in China? ›

Although the Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and Switch have all officially launched localized versions of the hardware in China, the Chinese market remains a considerable challenge for Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo.

Does China sell Xbox? ›

But starting in 2014, China has slowly expanded the legal console market production for Sony PlayStation 4, Microsoft Xbox One, and lately the Nintendo Switch.

Is Microsoft buying Ubisoft? ›

Microsoft could be acquiring Ubisoft in the coming months, that's at least according to a recent report. If true, this could be huge! Ubisoft is one of the biggest video game companies on the planet. It is the home of franchises such as Assassin's Creed, Far Cry, as well as Rainbow Six, and more.

What is Xbox in simple words? ›

Xbox is a gaming console brand developed and owned by Microsoft. The game console is capable of connecting to a television or other display media. Xbox provides realistic graphics for games.

What does Microsoft believe in? ›

We believe technology is a powerful force for good and are working to foster a sustainable future where everyone has access to the benefits and opportunities created by technology.

Is Microsoft removing cod from PlayStation? ›

Microsoft in a statement has said it has no plans to take Call of Duty away from gamers and the majority of them are on PlayStation. Keeping the franchise on PlayStation is important for the Xbox business and the economics of the acquisition.

Is Microsoft removing Call of Duty From PlayStation? ›

Microsoft has repeatedly said it will keep releasing Call of Duty games for the forseeable future - and previously promised Call of Duty would remain on PlayStation "at least several more years" beyond Sony's existing deal with Activision Blizzard.

Will Nintendo Switch get Call of Duty? ›

Update as of 7th December 2022:

Following earlier speculation, it has now been confirmed by Microsoft that it will be bringing Call of Duty to the Nintendo Switch, as long as its merger with Activision goes ahead. Spencer also confirmed a 10-year commitment to Call of Duty on Steam.

Can Google Play delete apps? ›

At the top right, tap the Profile icon. Manage. Tap the name of the app you want to delete. Tap Uninstall.

Why is an app no longer available? ›

If you are looking for an app that is no longer available on Google Play, the developer may have removed the app from Google Play or the app violated our Google Play Developer Program Policies and Developer Distribution Agreement and was removed or suspended from Google Play.

Why does Google remove apps? ›

There are some objective reasons why an app can be removed from Google Play: Malware (apps with malicious content) Disruptive adware (an advertising-supported program that automatically blocks the capabilities of an app) Clone apps and plagiarism (a copy of already existed app)

Who is Discord owned by? ›

History. The concept of Discord came from Jason Citron, who had founded OpenFeint, a social gaming platform for mobile games, and Stanislav Vishnevskiy, who had founded Guildwork, another social gaming platform.

Is Discord coming to PlayStation? ›

The long-awaited integration of the popular VoIP and instant messaging social platform Discord with our own beloved PlayStation is reportedly coming in March 2023, and to be more precise, on the 8th.

Is Discord on PS5? ›

Version 6.00 is September 7th, 2022. So Discord integration on the PS5 is March 8th, 2023 (if nothing else changes). PlayStation users have already been able to link a PlayStation account with Discord since early 2022, with integration between the two services limited to sharing players' game activity.

Why did PS4 beat Xbox One? ›

Performance was another factor. The Sony PS4 wasn't just less expensive — it was faster. There were several high-profile early launches that ran better on PS4, while games running better on Xbox One was a fairly rare event.

Is Xbox worse than PlayStation? ›

Xbox beats PlayStation when it comes to backwards compatibility, which is a feature that lets you play games from older consoles. Xbox Series X can play games dating back to the Xbox 360, which was released in 2005. PlayStation 5 can play PS4 titles, but gamers can't play PS3 titles they own with the latest console.

Will Xbox discontinue? ›

Microsoft has stopped manufacturing all Xbox One consoles. The software giant originally discontinued the Xbox One X and digital Xbox One S ahead of the Xbox Series X launch, then quietly stopped manufacturing the Xbox One S at the end of 2020, leaving retailers to sell out their remaining stock.

Is ps4 allowed in China? ›

Home gaming consoles were banned in mainland China from June 2000 until 2013. When the ban was lifted, eighth-generation consoles such as the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 were allowed in the country.

Do they have Xbox in Russia? ›

Microsoft halted all sales, including Xbox games and consoles, in Russia. Microsoft services include Office, Windows, and Azure, in addition to Xbox Live, which also has services like Game Pass.

Is Xbox sold in Japan? ›

The Xbox Series X|S launched in Japan in November 2020, while the Xbox 360 launched in Japan in December 2005. The original Xbox launched in Japan in February 2002 and the Xbox One in September 2014. August 2022 is the 22nd month the Xbox Series X|S has been available for in Japan.

Does Ukraine have Xbox? ›

Now consoles can be legally imported and cleared through customs, but Xbox services and the ecosystem remain inaccessible to Ukrainian users. In particular, players cannot register an account in their region.

Do they have Xbox in Ukraine? ›

Launch of Xbox in Ukraine - Xbox Series S consoles will go on sale on June 28 at a price of UAH 12,000 — SUNDRIES.

What country plays Xbox the most? ›

The Xbox is the console of choice for major countries such as the US where it has 54 per cent of the searches for consoles. Bangladesh is the biggest supporter of Microsoft's console with 80 per cent of console searches being for Xbox.

Are Ubisoft in trouble? ›

Ubisoft is again under fire for allegations of sexual harassment, misconduct, and endemic problems of sexism and racism across the company. In a report published today, Bloomberg extensively details inappropriate behavior by top executives and managers, particularly around chief creative officer Serge Hascoët.

Will playstation buy Ubisoft? ›

Sony could certainly buy Ubisoft, but it seems rather unlikely at this stage. According to anonymous sources speaking with Bloomberg, multiple private equity firms have been studying Ubisoft and considering their options for a potential purchase, but Ubisoft hasn't entered any serious negotiations.

Is Xbox getting Ubisoft? ›

Ubisoft is one of the leading developers globally, with many top-rated franchises like Assassin's Creed, Watch Dogs, and Far Cry. Thanks to this offer, Xbox gamers have the opportunity to get two Ubisoft titles at the price of one.

How to delete Xbox account? ›

To do so: Press the Xbox button  to open the guide. Select Profile & system > Settings > Account > Remove accounts.

How old is Xbox 360? ›

Xbox 360
Left: Original model Xbox 360 (2005) Center: Redesigned slim model Xbox 360 S (2010) Right: Latest model Xbox 360 E (2013)
Lifespan2005–2016
Introductory priceUS$299, €299, £209 (Xbox 360 Core) US$399, €399, £279 (Xbox 360 (20 GB))
DiscontinuedWW : April 20, 2016
25 more rows

How do you make an Xbox 360 account on Xbox One? ›

Press the Xbox button  to open the guide and select Profile & system > Add or switch > Add new. Select Get a new email on the Sign in screen. Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the setup.

What is Microsoft main weakness? ›

Weaknesses – Internal Strategic Factors

Lacking innovation – Microsoft has been failing to grow its hardware products sales such as surface pro computers and phones. It has been lagging in innovation and advanced technology, whereas, Apple, Google, and Amazon are quickly blazing trails.

What was Microsoft found guilty of? ›

Microsoft was formally charged with constituting a market monopoly by making it difficult for users to install competing software and simultaneously making it difficult to uninstall the company's browser, Internet Explorer.

Does the Chinese government use Microsoft? ›

In 2017 Microsoft announced that the company would build a “Windows 10 China Government Edition” for Chinese government agencies to use. That led Microsoft to partner with a Chinese state-owned company to sell a custom-tailored “Windows 10 CMIT” to the Chinese government.

Will Sony lose cod? ›

Call Of Duty Will Remain On PlayStation For Three Years After Current Agreement, Jim Ryan Says.

Is Call of Duty leaving Sony? ›

PlayStation owners can breathe a sigh of relief. For the last time: Call of Duty isn't leaving PlayStation. At least, that's the latest promise from Microsoft Gaming CEO Phil Spencer.

Is Sony losing Call of Duty? ›

In September, Xbox boss Phil Spencer said Microsoft had committed to making Call of Duty available on PlayStation for “several more years” after Sony's current deal with Activision expires, which will reportedly follow the release of a new game from Black Ops developer Treyarch in 2024.

Is Cod leaving ps4? ›

The “current Sony contract” Spencer referred to apparently keeps Call of Duty on PlayStation until 2024, per Bloomberg.

Is cod getting shut down? ›

Call of Duty: Warzone's sequel is almost here, but the questions about what will happen to the original game still linger for a lot of players. Thankfully, Activision answered them today as part of a larger blog post on Call of Duty: Warzone 2.0. The sequel's arrival won't mean that the original game is shutting down.

Is Cod staying on Xbox? ›

News. (Pocket-lint) - Despite ongoing concerns over Microsoft's pending buyout of Activision Blizzard, Xbox chief Phil Spencer says Call of Duty will remain on PlayStation.

Is Roblox on Nintendo Switch? ›

Indeed, you can't play Roblox games with the Nintendo console.

Can you play COD on Mac? ›

Despite Call of Duty being an established combat game franchise, it doesn't have a dedicated version for macOS. So Mac users can't natively play the game on their PC. Fortunately, you can do this easily and conveniently with AirDroid Cast. It allows you to mirror your phone's screen and play the game on your PC.

Is Cod switching to PC? ›

Today, the league is announcing it will move pro competition to PC + controller, beginning with the 2021 season,” CDL administrators wrote on Sep. 13. “This means that all pro matches will be played on PC and all pro players must use a league-approved controller of their choice.”

Why is Xbox store unavailable? ›

This error occurs if the Microsoft Store is undergoing system maintenance, or if system files temporarily stored on your Xbox 360 console are corrupted.

Why is Microsoft Store not available? ›

If the Microsoft Store app isn't the search results: Make sure you're signed in to your Microsoft account. The Microsoft Store app may not be available if you're signed in to a local account. If you're using a work device, check with your administrator.

Why is my Microsoft Store unavailable? ›

Check for connection problems and make sure that you're signed in with a Microsoft account. Make sure Windows has the latest update: Select Start , then select Settings > Update & Security > Windows Update > Check for Updates.

Will Xbox shortage ever end? ›

In September, Xbox boss Phil Spencer said console supply issues will continue into 2022. Spencer told The Wrap that a shortage of chips wasn't the only thing stopping Microsoft getting as many Xbox Series X/S consoles onto store shelves as it would like, however.

Is Xbox having a shortage? ›

While some of these circumstances have gotten easier to navigate over time, Xbox executives have stated that the supply shortage for the Xbox Series X is expected to continue into next year. The undersupply of current-gen consoles will especially be noticeable during the holiday season.

Why is Xbox stock so limited? ›

Microsoft is winning the chip shortage war

The global chip shortage, which was caused by the 2020 pandemic and compounded by supply chain issues in 2021, is the reason why gamers struggled to find Xbox Series X and PS5 stock last year.

Can I delete Xbox from Windows 10? ›

Click on Apps. In the “Search this list” field, type Xbox. A list of all the relevant apps will appear. In the list, click on Xbox then click on Uninstall.

How do I put the Xbox app on my iPhone? ›

Step 1: Download and open the Xbox mobile app

Open the app. If you're a new app user, select Set up a console. If you've already signed in to the app, select the Console icon in the upper right corner of the home screen, and select Set up a console. Enter the code you were given on the Set up with the Xbox app screen.

Is Xbox app on Samsung? ›

Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., the world's leading TV manufacturer for 16 consecutive years, today announced that Xbox is joining Samsung Gaming Hub¹, a new game streaming discovery platform available on 2022 Samsung Smart TVs including Neo QLED 8K, Neo QLED 4K, QLEDs² and 2022 Smart Monitor Series.

Why is there no chrome in Microsoft Store? ›

Windows 10S will allow you to install apps only from Microsoft Store. Since Chrome is not a Microsoft Store app, hence you can't install Chrome. If you want to install an app that isn't available in the Microsoft Store, you'll need to switch out of S mode. Switching out of S mode is one-way.

Can Microsoft Store be removed? ›

Uninstalling the Microsoft Store app is not supported, and uninstalling it may cause unintended consequences. There is no supported workaround to uninstall or reinstall Microsoft Store.

Why is Microsoft Store so slow? ›

Is the Microsoft Store still downloading apps and updates slowly? Try clearing its cache. To do that, press Windows+R to open the Run box. Then, type wsreset.exe, and select OK.

Why can't I download apps from the Microsoft Store? ›

Run the troubleshooter: Select the Start button, and then select Settings > Update & Security > Troubleshoot, and then from the list select Windows Store apps > Run the troubleshooter.

Can Microsoft Store be blocked? ›

Block Microsoft Store using AppLocker

You can block access to Microsoft Store app with AppLocker by creating a rule for packaged apps. You'll give the name of the Microsoft Store app as the packaged app that you want to block from client computers.

How do I get unbanned from Microsoft Store? ›

If you were banned for one day or 24 hours there is nothing you can do. However if the suspension was longer then a day you can file to have your case reviewed by the enforcement team. That way they can hear your side of the story.

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