Phil Spencer: Making Xbox Relevant On Mobile Is The “Real Strategic Angle” Behind Activision Deal

According to the Xbox head, the logic behind the deal stems from the company's goal to gain more users on mobile.

Story Highlights

  • According to Phil Spencer, the real strategy behind the Activision Blizzard King acquisition is to make Xbox relevant on mobile.
  • The Xbox head said that the company wants to reach players everywhere and mobile is the biggest gaming platform.
  • But, their studios don’t have any expertise in this department, but ABK is the largest mobile publisher outside China.
  • Hence, the logic behind the deal stems from Microsoft’s aim to gain more players and capability on mobile according to Spencer.

While talking to Xbox On, Phil Spencer said the strategic angle behind the Microsoft-Activision merger is to gain relevancy on mobile devices. According to the Xbox head, it is the biggest gaming platform in the world and the company wants to gain users on it. But, the Xbox-affiliated studios have no expertise in this, making the platform foreign to them.

For us the logic really started from how do we gain more capability on mobile, both creatively as well as having users. But also obviously, the stuff we can do with Game Pass will be great for the people on Xbox. But, the real strategic angle behind this was we need to get relevant on mobile. And, it turns out that Activision Blizzard King is the largest mobile publisher outside of China,” says Phil. 

This is where Activision Blizzard King comes in, the largest mobile publisher outside of China, and has tons of users. With games like Candy Crush, Diablo Immortal, and Call of Duty Mobile.

Hence, the main logic behind the deal stems from Xbox and Microsoft’s aim to reach players everywhere. Feel free to start watching the following from the 12:56 mark for relevancy. 

Call of Duty is considered the main reason for Microsoft‘s purchase of Activision last year. It is also one of the causes of Sony opposing the acquisition, as the company considers the FPS irreplaceable. The Japanese industry giant has also said the franchise will give Xbox an unfair advantage.

Microsoft has had to agree to deals with Nintendo and Nvidia to prove it won’t withhold the franchise. The American tech giant also offered a similar deal to Sony, but the latter hasn’t accepted it yet. Even the UK CMA’s formal opposition to the deal suggested that it could happen if Microsoft sold Call of Duty.

But, as it turns out, the Activision FPS series is not just the main reason Microsoft is interested in Activision Blizzard King. Spencer said that at Xbox, they want to make a gaming platform where creators can build games users anywhere can play.

It doesn’t matter if the player is using a console, PC, Smart TV, or smartphone. While he was going through this logic, he realized Xbox doesn’t really have the capability to deal with mobile.

Xbox has never done work for mobile games. The company also doesn’t have many players on the mobile platform, making it quite foreign to Xbox. 

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Ahmed Mansoor

Your average video games enjoyer with a deep passion for single-player adventures who writes about his favorite hobby.

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