Microsoft Believed It Would Have To Abandon Xbox To Lead Mobile Gaming

Wanted To Become Mobile Leader In 2019!

Microsoft’s court hearings against the FTC have revealed various confidential documents, highlighting many internal discussions from Xbox executives like Phil Spencer and Matt Botty. An email also hints at Microsoft’s mobile gaming ambitions.

Previously, the documents revealed plans to make Bethesda games exclusive to Xbox. Additionally, they have highlighted budgets for PlayStation games like The Last of Us Part 2 and Horizon Forbidden West.

A deleted document points to the gaming giant’s ambitions for mobile gaming. Phil Spencer was hoping to break into the market in 2019, but he believed that Microsoft would only be able to become a mobile gaming giant if it shut down Xbox.

Why it matters: Mobile gaming is highly profitable, and Microsoft has been looking to break into the market for several years. This is also one of the primary reasons for the Activision Blizzard merger.

Phil Spencer Xbox Mobile Gaming
Source: Exputer

The email discussed a potential strategy for Microsoft’s growth in the mobile market. However, Phil Spencer claimed that the company could not become a significant part of the market without major sacrifices.

He further said:

“The only thing we could do is close all the Xbox stuff, and with the same OPEX, try to start a mobile gaming company.”

However, Microsoft decided to take a different approach. The gaming giant still supports Xbox, and the Xbox Series S|X consoles are confirmed to have sold over 21 million units worldwide.

Over four years ago, Microsoft also referenced Bobby Kotick’s approach with Activision Blizzard. However, Activision already had a massive presence in the market, and Xbox was struggling to become relevant for mobile users.

Several years later, Phil Spencer continues to be interested in this market. Previously, he claimed that Microsoft’s mobile ambitions became the strategic angle behind the $68.7 billion Activision acquisition.

Gaming giants like PlayStation have also recognized the unique position of the market, planning to bring more IPs to mobile gamers.

Furthermore, Microsoft also plans to compete with Google and Apple by making its app store. The company could launch its own store as soon as next year.

Ownership of Activision Blizzard would allow Microsoft to own games like Candy Crush, Diablo Immortal, and Call of Duty mobile. This would be a huge asset to a potential app store from Microsoft.

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