Microsoft Gaming CEO Phil Spencer has revealed that Microsoft is in discussions about introducing an Xbox mobile store, as initially reported by Bloomberg. This news emerged from Spencer's interview at Thursday's CCXP comics and entertainment convention in Brazil.
Challenging Apple and Google
The proposed mobile store aims to compete with established players like Apple and Google. Spencer indicated the launch might happen sooner than expected, possibly within the next year. He emphasised the significance of this move in Microsoft's strategy, highlighting ongoing talks with partners to offer more monetisation options on mobile platforms.
Ties with Activision Blizzard
This development follows Microsoft's acquisition of Activision Blizzard, a move partly motivated by the desire to expand into mobile gaming. Activision Blizzard, known for successful mobile games such as Candy Crush and Call of Duty Mobile, plays a crucial role in Microsoft's strategy. In October 2022, Microsoft revealed plans to establish an “Xbox Mobile Platform”, integrating mobile games from Activision and King.
The completion of the Activision Blizzard deal in October, after nearly two years, might have delayed Microsoft's mobile store ambitions. Spencer stressed the importance of choice in mobile gaming and the need for Xbox to maintain relevance across multiple platforms.
Regulatory hurdles ahead
Microsoft's venture into mobile gaming stores comes amid a challenging regulatory landscape. The ongoing legal dispute between Epic Games and Apple, which reached the Supreme Court in September, questions Apple's software business's compliance with federal antitrust laws.
Additionally, Apple is contesting the European Commission's Digital Markets Act, potentially impacting its app store ecosystem. These developments indicate a dynamic and evolving space where Microsoft seeks to establish a significant presence.