When gaming giants clash: Activision Blizzard’s abandoned plans for a mobile games store

We all know that the Google Play Store is where most people get their apps and games on Android. It’s easy to use, so not many people bother with other options. But companies still want to compete with Google. At one point, the big game maker, Activision Blizzard, was working on their own store just for games.

They wanted to call it the “Steam of Mobile” since Steam is popular for PC games. The store would have let you download games straight to your phone without the Play Store. They planned to start in 2019 or 2020 and charge developers less money than Google, around 10-12% of sales compared to Google’s 30%.

The first games would be from their King studio, known for Candy Crush. It would start in the US and get more features over time, like multiple accounts. By 2021, it would have all their games plus others. If it did well on Android, they hoped to bring it to iPhones too.

However, they ended up not doing the store. Documents from a lawsuit show it was because the store wouldn’t make them enough money. Instead, Activision Blizzard made a deal with Google that earned them over $100 million in ad credits and co-marketing.

While a big games-only store could have increased competition, it’s understandable why Activision Blizzard chose money over running their own store. For mobile gamers, sticking with Google Play means all games remain just one download away.

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