Activision Blizzard officially became part of Microsoft on October 13, 2023, after the UK Competition and Markets Authority gave the deal a final green light. This makes Microsoft the third-largest gaming company by revenue, behind Tencent and Sony.
The acquisition of Activision Blizzard by Microsoft is the largest gaming deal in history, and it will surely have a significant impact on the rest of the industry. Here is our analysis of the acquisition’s impact on mobile gaming on iOS and Android.
Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard could improve gaming on mobile from subscription to catalog
In 2020, Microsoft confirmed that the Xbox Cloud Gaming beta would come to iOS and Windows PC in 2021. However, due to Apple’s App Store policies, Microsoft was not able to release a native Xbox Cloud Gaming app for iOS. Instead, Microsoft released a web app that allows iOS users to stream Xbox games to their devices.
Now that Activision Blizzard is officially part of Microsoft, the company could also offer Activision Blizzard games on its Xbox Cloud Gaming service, which would allow iOS users to stream these games to their devices without the need for a powerful console or PC. This would make Activision Blizzard games more accessible to a wider range of players.
I believe this acquisition is going to benefit mobile gaming in the following ways:
One of the most immediate effects of Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard will be on subscription services. Microsoft’s Xbox Game Pass is already the most popular subscription service in the industry, and it is only going to get more popular with the addition of Activision Blizzard’s catalog of games. This could put pressure on other subscription services, such as Sony’s PlayStation Plus, to offer more competitive pricing and features.
Microsoft is also likely to invest heavily in Activision Blizzard’s mobile gaming business. Mobile gaming is the largest segment of the gaming industry, and Activision Blizzard has some of the most popular mobile games in the world, such as Candy Crush Saga and Call of Duty: Mobile. This could give Microsoft a significant advantage in the mobile gaming market.
However, if Microsoft makes Activision Blizzard games exclusive to its own platforms, such as Xbox and Windows, it could reduce the number of options available to mobile gamers. This could also have a negative impact on competition in the mobile gaming market.
Healthy competition in the mobile gaming industry
In addition, the acquisition is likely to accelerate the trend toward consolidation in the gaming industry. As Microsoft becomes more powerful, other publishers may feel pressure to merge or be acquired in order to compete. This could lead to a smaller number of larger companies controlling the industry.
The acquisition of Activision Blizzard by Microsoft is a major event that will have a significant impact on the rest of the gaming industry. It remains to be seen how Microsoft will use its newfound power, but it is clear that the company is now a major force in the industry.
I am personally excited to see what Microsoft does with Activision Blizzard’s mobile gaming portfolio. I hope that the company will invest in developing new and innovative mobile games and that it will make Activision Blizzard’s existing mobile games more accessible and affordable for players around the world.