Phil Spencer on the mobile potential of the Activision-Blizzard acquisition

Spencer explained the move in more detail in an interview with the Second Request Podcast.

Phil Spencer on the mobile potential of the Activision-Blizzard acquisition

Microsoft’s ongoing attempt to acquire Activision-Blizzard has been one of the biggest stories in the games space this year, due in no small part to concerns that the deal could hamper competition.

Microsoft has long maintained that the primary reason for the acquisition is Activision Blizzard’s strength on mobile platforms, and their CEO of Xbox gaming Phil Spencer has discusses this in greater depth in an interview with the Second Request Podcast.

“Mobile is the largest segment in gaming. It’s the fastest growing segment in gaming, and the largest franchises that people are playing, more and more, are available on phone. Not necessarily on phone exclusively, but they are available on phone,” said Spencer.

Spencer also explains that the current duopoly of Apple and Google imposed barriers on opening up a dedicated store on mobile devices for Xbox products. While Xbox Game Pass is available on phones, this excludes games created specifically for phones and, as such, Xbox misses out on the strength and expertise of mobile developers. By partnering with Activision-Blizzard, Microsoft can increase its footprint in mobile spaces while bringing more attention to its products.

Expanding horizons

Like its rival, Nintendo, it appears that Microsoft is aware of the potential to market its consoles and AAA games through mobile gaming, although it appears that Spencer sees greater potential in mobile as a market in and of itself.

“We look at the largest gaming companies on the planet. The largest gaming company is Tencent. And Tencent has a strong mobile presence. And you see mobile is the largest category of gaming out there,” said Spencer.

“Three billion people play video games. Mobile phones are the most prolific consumer electronic device on the planet that plays games. And in many places, you’re going to have to reach customers with devices that are already in their pocket.”

“Most families on the planet won’t go out and spend specific money to buy a bespoke gaming device. So when you think about the world’s largest franchises, those will exist on mobile. They’re going to have to, over time. You’re going to have to find some way for everyone on the planet to play those games. Just like you’ve seen for music and video, where all of the services are available on the devices people want to play on.”

Earlier this year, we listed Activision Blizzard as one of the top 50 mobile game makers of 2022.


Staff Writer

Lewis Rees is a journalist, author, and escape room enthusiast based in South Wales. He got his degree in Film and Video from the University of Glamorgan. He's been a gamer all his life.