Epic vs. Google Trial Reveals Activision Blizzard Almost Had Its Own App Store

Activision Blizzard had plans of setting up an independent mobile app store on Android devices, as Google reportedly paid an insane amount to stop that from happening.


  • As internal emails and documents from Epic vs. Google trial become public, Activision Blizzard's plans for an independent Android app store come to light.
  • The app store would have seen Activision Blizzard bring all of their mobile games from Google's Play Store to its proprietary Android mobile store.
  • Google's agreement with Activision has also become public, mentioning an insane amount paid by Google to keep Activision from realizing their plans.
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The Epic Games vs. Google trial that took place early last month has uncovered several court documents, revealing new details from both sides as well as from Activision Blizzard King (ABK). Back in 2020, Epic Games sued Google over what Epic found was an unlawful monopoly on the in-app purchases in the Play Store.


Epic also demanded third-party app stores on Android devices using which users can sideload apps and also get the ability to make use of an independent payment method. In between the court documents involving both parties, a surprising discovery was made involving ABK, and how the studio would have had its App Store if things had gone as intended.

An Activision Blizzard Mobile App Store Was Closer to Becoming a Reality

Epic v. Google trial reveals Activision Blizzard's plans for an independent mobile app store on Android devices.
Epic vs. Google trial reveals Activision Blizzard’s plans for an independent mobile app store on Android devices.

Titled “Project Boston”, ABK had major plans of having an app store on mobile devices. This was a well-kept secret that was only recently uncovered in the ongoing trial when several internal emails and documents were made public. Project Boston was ABK’s plan that was set in motion back in 2019, to double down on the earnings from the studio’s popular mobile games such as Candy Crush, Call of Duty: Mobile, and Diablo Immortal.


ABK’s app store would have been quite similar in fashion to Samsung’s own Galaxy Store which allows users direct access to the latest updates of Samsung apps as well as a whole library of third-party apps. ABK, however, initially intended to partner with Epic Games or Supercell, developers of the popular game Clash of Clans, to set up the mobile app store. If needed, Activision was also looking to set things up all by itself, had the partnerships failed.

ABK’s pitch to Epic Games for this mobile app store was revealed in private emails between Epic CEO Tim Sweeney and Activision Blizzard CFO Armin Zerza in which ABK called its plan the “Steam of Mobile“. The pitch mentioned having a “single place to buy mobile games, with a single payment system.” The related internal documents also mentioned charging a transaction fee of 10% to 12% on gaming transactions which was significantly lower than the standard 30% fee charged by other platforms.

ABK wasn’t just planning to have an app store on Android devices as the plans also extended to the iOS App Store if the initial plans for an Android app store were successful.


Activision’s Plan Involved a Settlement, Failing Which a Mobile App Store Was Planned For 2019

Activision pitched their idea of a mobile app store to Epic and called it Steam of Mobile.
Activision pitched their idea of a mobile app store to Epic and called it Steam of Mobile.

Activision’s initial plan involved cutting down on the aforementioned 30% transaction fee that is currently charged for gaming transactions. ABK set their sights on not just the Play Store, as Activision targeted higher earnings across YouTube, Advertising, Media spend, and Cloud as well. A successful move would have seen ABK eliminate its plans to build a mobile app store.

In one of the internal documents that was released, ABK had stated “Should we secure real savings with Google, we would deprioritize path 2“. The said “Path 2” involved setting up an independent mobile app store which was reportedly slated for deployment around 2019 or 2020.

ABK’s plan involved launching the App Store without much fanfare or marketing and as a pilot program by 2019 with just IP titles like Candy Crush. The team would have grown to around 70 members by 2020 as per initial plans, including hiring around five Activision developers as well. By 2021, the plan was to include all of their mobile games that are available on the Play Store.


The plan didn’t materialize as intended as Google had reportedly paid a lot more than $100 million to keep Activision from launching an independent app store, which was signed by both ABK’s CFO Armin Zerza and Google’s Hiroshi Lockheimer, following which it was revealed that the two companies are raking in billions as a result of the agreement.

ABK is now owned by Microsoft and if ABK continues to pursue either of its plans in the coming years, Microsoft would be involved in one way or another and have an influence on the result.

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Written by Ayoub Hassan Adur

Articles Published: 397

Ayoub Hassan Adur worked in the Translation Industry for more than a decade before turning to Content Writing. Ayoub loves Gaming and has also written news stories in the gaming industry for two other websites before joining FandomWire Gaming. Manchester United fan since the '90s.