Xbox CEO Phil Spencer declared something last week at the WSJ Tech Live conference that over the past few years has come to be widely accepted among the largest names in the gaming business. Now the big question arrives- Does survival depends on mobile gaming?
About the company’s proposed acquisition of Activision Blizzard. Spencer argued that success as a gaming company depends on having access to mobile users. The number of console gamers has peaked. Although it is rarely expressed so simply out loud, this is not a recent development. Microsoft, Nintendo, and Sony have combined install bases of almost 330 million.
To Spencer’s point, though, many of those console users have multiple pieces of hardware. Whereas many new purchasers of the PS5 and Xbox Series machines are repurchasing older models. Microsoft is by no means unique in this. Over the past two years, several companies, including Electronic Arts, Take-Two Interactive, Sony, and others, have unveiled ambitious plans for mobile, frequently by making smart acquisitions and investing in business models that are centered on mobile.
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Mobile gaming Microsoft rivals have already gained ground
Last year, Electronic Arts invested close to $4 billion in mobile studio purchases. Zynga, the company behind FarmVille, was acquired by Take-Two for over $13 billion. “We’re thrilled that our addressable market has 3.5 billion players. In an interview with Protocol earlier this year, EA mobile chief Jeff Karp noted, “It makes our brand more approachable.
Hermen Hulst, president of PlayStation Studios, referred to the action as “additive,” noting that it will enable Sony to give “more ways for more people to engage with our content.” The objective, according to Hulst, will be to “reach new audiences unfamiliar with PlayStation and our games.” Jim Ryan, the CEO of PlayStation, has also emphasized the importance of mobile in the company’s growth strategy. This includes a goal of releasing 20% of all titles on smartphone platforms by 2025.
In May, Ryan remarked, “We have the opportunity to shift from a position where we are present in a very restricted sector of the entire gaming software business to being present pretty much everywhere. It must be mentioned… likewise to live services.
Mobile is more than simply a device that prints money. Companies require teams with the knowledge and motivation to update quickly, navigate the increasingly complex platform architectures like Apple and Google, which primarily rely on mobile game developer fees for the majority of their app store profits.
Mobile, however, has become essential to survival because to the opportunities and the existential requirement of diversifying how games make money and live in a sector that is always evolving.