Microsoft elaborates on its mobile platform hunger, confirms Overwatch and Diablo’s arrival to Game Pass


The vast majority of our readers made the shocked pikachu face when Microsoft CEO Phil Spencer admitted that his company’s buyout of Activision-Blizzard is primarily motivated by wanting a slice of the mobile gaming market pie. That subject was the major focus of a new blog from Spencer, which expanded upon the move and also offered up some tidbits for gamers to chew on.

The majority of the post is gamer-facing, spinning the financial hunger for mobile gaming into a way for Microsoft to bring games to everyone, particularly via the company’s cloud gaming services, and Spencer argues that Microsoft needs ActiBlizz to do it.

“The expertise that the teams at Activision-Blizzard bring in developing games for mobile platforms will help us understand how to create games that engage players around the world. In addition, we hope that players will be eager to play traditional console games from Activision-Blizzard on other platforms via our cloud game streaming technology. This promises to open up mobile gaming, creating new distribution opportunities for game developers outside of mobile app stores while delivering compelling and immersive experiences for players by using the power of the cloud. And we can extend the joy of playing to devices that people already own, including Smart TVs and laptops.”

The post also talks up the expansion of Game Pass’s offerings with the acquisition, specifically calling out that Overwatch, Call of Duty, and Diablo would be some of the new games on offer for the subscription service while once again linking it to mobile phone gaming access. “By delivering even more value to players, we hope to continue growing Game Pass, extending its appeal to mobile phones and any connected device,” Spencer writes.

Finally, Spencer once again promises that Call of Duty’s arrival to Game Pass will not stop the series from launching on other platforms, and he parrots Bobby Kotick’s earlier statements of “[engaging] with regulators with a spirit of transparency and openness” as governments dig deeper into the acquisition’s wider impact on the games industry.

Activision-Blizzard is considered a controversial gaming company owing to a long string of scandals over the last few years, including the Blitzchung boycott, mass layoffs, labor disputes, and executive pay fiasco. In 2021, the company was sued by California for fostering a work environment rife with sexual harassment and discrimination, the disastrous corporate response to which compounded Blizzard’s ongoing pipeline issues and the widespread perception that its online games are in decline. Multiple state and federal agencies are investigating the company as employees unionize¬†and call for Bobby Kotick’s resignation. As of 2022, the company is being acquired by no less than Microsoft.
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