Xbox boss claims Activision acquisition is driven by mobile and PC ambitions
“We don’t have a lot of creative capability that has built hit mobile games,” says Phil Spencer
Microsoft‘s planned acquisition of Activision Blizzard is primarily driven by the company’s mobile and PC gaming ambitions, the boss of Xbox has claimed.
Asked by Bloomberg how the proposed $68.7 billion deal came about, Phil Spencer said Microsoft was motivated by a desire grow its creative capability on non-console platforms, particularly mobile.
“When we were thinking about what we are capable of doing today and where do we need to go, the biggest gaming platform on the planet is mobile phones,” he said. “One and a half billion people play on mobile phones.
“And I guess regretfully as Microsoft it’s not a place we have a native platform. As gaming, coming from console and PC, we don’t have a lot of creative capability that has built hit mobile games.
“One thing about the video game space is, if you’ve been around maybe too long, you know most of the creators out there, so you kind of know teams that could be a good fit in terms of what we were trying to do.
“But we really started the discussions, internally at least, on Activision Blizzard around the capability they had on mobile and then PC with Blizzard. Those were the two things that were really driving our interest.”
Activision Blizzard recently said that its monthly active user base totalled 361 million for the quarter ended in June 2022.
Candy Crush maker King accounted for 240 million players, World of Warcraft studio Blizzard for 27 million, and Call of Duty publisher Activision for 94 million.
Spencer also said he “feels good” about the chances of Microsoft’s proposed Activision deal being approved by regulators.
Later in the Bloomberg interview, Spencer was asked if he thinks consoles will still be around in 10 years.
“I equate in my head gaming on console to gaming on a television,” he responded. “But absolutely people are playing on more screens and I think for us as a platform, if we don’t adopt that as part of our strategy, we’re kind of pushing against what our customers are asking for.”
After Sony increased the PS5 price on Thursday, Microsoft told VGC that UK retail prices for its Xbox Series X/S consoles will remain the same.