General Industry Update

Microsoft will launch its long-rumoured Xbox mobile game store in July, according to Xbox President Sarah Bond at the Bloomberg Technology Summit. This initiative aims to circumvent Apple’s strict App Store rules by offering a web-based platform that operates outside the traditional closed ecosystem stores. The Xbox store will feature first-party video game titles like Candy Crush and Minecraft, accessible across all devices and countries.¹ Gamers will also be able to get discounts on in-game items for mega-hits like Call of Duty: Mobile and Candy Crush Saga if they use the Xbox mobile store.²

Bond emphasized the store’s broader ambition to integrate seamlessly with the Xbox ecosystem, allowing gamers to carry their gaming identity, library, and rewards across multiple devices, unlike current isolated app store experiences. This strategy underscores Microsoft’s desire to create a unified gaming environment, leveraging its vast portfolio of games.

The move anticipates regulatory shifts that might force Apple and Google to open their app stores, but Microsoft isn’t waiting for legislative changes. The web-based launch is the first step towards establishing a trusted gaming app store. While Bond hinted at future expansions beyond the web, it remains to be seen how Microsoft will position its store against existing giants.

This effort aligns with Microsoft’s long-term vision, initially outlined post-Activision Blizzard acquisition, to offer Xbox and third-party content on any device, preparing for a future where mobile platforms are more accessible.³

Company Specific Updates

Nintendo Co

Nintendo’s anticipated announcement of the successor to the Switch will happen by March 2025, according to company president Shuntaro Furukawa. The exact timing of the product launch remains unknown, but the announcement will mark nine years since the Switch’s introduction.

The announcement came as Nintendo reported 13% growth in profits for the fiscal year ending in March, driven by strong demand for Switch software, including hit games The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom. Net profit rose to ¥490.6 billion ($3 billion), up from ¥432.7 billion the previous year, with annual sales growing 4% to ¥1.67 trillion ($11 billion). International sales accounted for nearly 80% of the total.

Key video game titles bolstered these results: The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom sold 20.6 million units, Super Mario Bros. Wonder sold 13.4 million, and Pikmin 4 sold 3.5 million units. Additionally, “The Super Mario Bros. Movie,” released a year ago, contributed to sales growth.

Nintendo has sold over 141 million Switch units, including 15.7 million in the past fiscal year. To maintain momentum, Nintendo continues to release new games like Endless Ocean Luminous and Luigi’s Mansion 2, with plans for a new film in 2026, alongside attractions like Donkey Kong Country in Universal Studios Japan and a Nintendo museum in Kyoto.⁴

Take-Two Interactive Software Inc.

Take-Two Interactive Software Inc. announced that its highly anticipated sequel, Grand Theft Auto VI, will be released in Fall 2025, resulting in a somewhat reduced forecast for the current fiscal year. Take-Two now projects bookings of $5.55 billion to $5.65 billion for fiscal 2025, down from a previous projection of $7 billion in February.

However, Take-Two did report fiscal Q4 bookings of $1.35 billion, surpassing analysts’ expectations. This figure was bolstered by a strong performance from its Grand Theft Auto series and NBA 2K23 game.

When it debuts, Grand Theft Auto VI is anticipated to be a major revenue driver, following the immense success of its predecessor, Grand Theft Auto V, which has sold a record-breaking 200 million copies.⁵

HERO ETF: Diversified Investing in Video Games

Interested in a diversified approach to investing in video games? Canada’s first esports and gaming ETF, the Evolve E-Gaming Index ETF (HERO ETF), is an index-based exchange-traded fund that invests in the leading video game companies across the globe. To learn more about HERO ETF, please click here:

Portfolio Strategy and Activity

For the month, Take-Two Interactive Software Inc. made the largest contribution to the Fund, followed by Nintendo Co and Konami Group Corporation. The largest detractors to performance for the month were Roblox Corp, followed by NetEase Inc and Square Enix Holdings Co Ltd.



  1. Warren, T., “Microsoft’s new Xbox mobile gaming store is launching in July,” The Verge, May 9, 2024;
  2. D’Anastasio, C. & Bass, D., “Microsoft Plans Mobile-Game Store, Vying With Apple, Google,” Bloomberg, May 9, 2024;
  3. Warren, T., “Microsoft’s new Xbox mobile gaming store is launching in July,” The Verge, May 9, 2024;
  4. Kageyama, Y., “Nintendo to announce Switch successor in this fiscal year as profits rise,” CTV News, May 7, 2024;
  5. D’Anastasio, C., “Take-Two’s ‘Grand Theft Auto VI’ Won’t Come Until Fall 2025,” Bloomberg, May 16, 2024;

Header image source: Getty Images Credit: RyanKing999

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