Xbox head reveals key factor behind Activision acquisition

Further investment in mobile gaming was a big incentive

Head of Xbox Phil Spencer has made another comment on Microsoft’s planned acquisition of Activision Blizzard in a recent interview, noting one of the key incentives. 

In a recent interview with Bloomberg, Spencer touches on the popularity of mobile gaming, stating “I guess, regretfully as Microsoft, it’s not a place where 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.”

Head of Xbox Phil Spencer speaks onstage during The Game Awards 2015 at Microsoft Theater on December 3, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. CREDIT: Allen Berezovsky/Getty Images


He continues: “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 are the two things that were really driving our interest.”

Activision and Blizzard have both had many notable hits within the mobile space. Perhaps the biggest is Candy Crush from developer King, which was acquired by Activision Blizzard back in February 2016.

There are also the likes of Call Of Duty: Mobile and Hearthstone, which saw a mobile release shortly after its initial launch on PC, both of which have been big successes for the publisher. Even Diablo Immortal, which has received an extremely negative fan reception, managed to net £19.6million just two weeks after its release as a free-to-play game.

Additionally, mobile games ended up making more revenue for Activision Blizzard in the second quarter of 2022 than both its console and PC games combined.

Call of Duty Mobile - Season 5
Call of Duty Mobile – Season 5. Credit: Activision.

In that quarter, the company earned £273.4million ($332million) and £309.6million ($376million) from console and PC games respectively. Meanwhile, PC gaming single-handedly amassed a staggering £684.3million ($831million). With those kinds of numbers, Spencer’s interest in further expanding into that market is understandable


In other news, Splatoon 3 hackers have been getting banned from playing Splatoon 3 before the game’s September 9 launch due to tampering with the limited-time demo.

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