Today Brad Smith, President, and Vice Chair posted a blog about the future of Microsoft as a platform. The blog is a direct response to the Epic versus Apple litigation and Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision. The blog details how Microsoft plans to move forward as an app store or a platform where they envision Candy Crush and Call of Duty on every device.
The headline coming out of the blog begins with Activision. “Microsoft will continue to make Call of Duty and other popular Activision Blizzard titles available on PlayStation through the term of any existing agreement with Activision. And we have committed to Sony that we will also make them available on PlayStation beyond the existing agreement and into the future so that Sony fans can continue to enjoy the games they love. We are also interested in taking similar steps to support Nintendo’s successful platform. We believe this is the right thing for the industry, for gamers and for our business.”
A carefully written statement by some of the best business lawyers and PR minds in the world. Also purposefully interwoven in the same blog post are details about how Microsoft will handle digital storefronts going forward. Xbox became a key player in the Epic versus Apple lawsuit when the Xbox Game Pass app was pulled from the Apple App Store.
Xbox As A Service
Currently, Apple takes a percentage of every transaction within the App Store. So when Fortnite and Xbox Game Pass allowed you to purchase items on other platforms, then bring them to your device, Apple saw this as a path to a major cut in revenue. While Apple continues to fight the battle in courtrooms, Microsoft sees an inevitable future that is coming soon.
Microsoft is beginning to position itself, the Windows App Store, Xbox Store, Game Pass, and the Microsoft Store to be a digital storefront across many devices. They see a future where you can stream Call of Duty from your Nintendo Switch and download Candy Crush to your phone from their app store. With that, the federal government has just made it legal for all of the Microsoft-related transactions on any platform to go back entirely to Microsoft.
Finally, the rest of the blog touches on how Microsoft will handle relationships with developers going forward. Including new rules on transparency, accountability, and the developer’s choice. Microsoft has begun implementing the same policies it wants from other digital storefronts on its own.