Microsoft Plans Xbox Mobile App Store, A New Rival for Apple and Google

No launch date revealed, but Phil Spencer expressed confidence that it's on the horizon.

  • Microsoft is in talks with partners to launch an Xbox gaming store on Mobile.
  • It was announced by Phil Spencer, during an interview at the CCXP Comics and Entertainment convention in Brazil.
  • The head of Xbox have not mentioned where this new mobile store will be launched.

The CEO of Microsoft Gaming, Phil Spencer, revealed that Microsoft is in talks with partners regarding the launch of the Xbox Mobile store, as initially reported by Bloomberg. Spencer shared this information during an interview at the CCXP comics and entertainment convention in Brazil on Thursday.

The new mobile store is set to take on the Apple App Store and Google Play Store in the market and it is expected to launch sooner. Phil Spencer mentioned that he doesn’t think it’s “multiple years away,” with earlier reports hinting at a potential launch as early as next year.

It is unclear where this online store will be launched as Microsoft does not have its own mobile platform. Considering that Apple won’t allow competing stores on its iPhone and iPad platforms, it would be intriguing to see whether Microsoft prefer Play Store, which allows third-party app stores on its devices.

Microsoft Plans to Create an Xbox Mobile Store, Says Phil Spencerxbox store

Spencer underscored that Microsoft’s focus is on broadening monetization possibilities in the mobile gaming sector. As a part of this approach, the company collaborates with partners to introduce additional choices to the market.

While Microsoft’s intentions to establish an Xbox mobile store have been known for a while, Phil Spencer’s recent comments coincide with Microsoft’s official acquisition of Activision Blizzard. Notably, court documents have revealed that Activision Blizzard had intentions to launch its app store on Android.

As per a TechCrunch report, Microsoft’s aim to expand its presence in the mobile gaming landscape was a significant factor driving its decision to acquire Activision Blizzard.

Microsoft’s deal with Activision Blizzard was finalized in October, nearly two years after the initial announcement, which probably contributed to a delay in the company’s plans to launch its mobile store.

Since the merger announcement, the company has undergone changes due to a market downturn in mobile gaming growth after years of strong performance. In the previous year, player spending decreased by 5% compared to 2021, and this trend is anticipated to persist. Microsoft’s entry into the mobile store arena is also happening amid a challenging regulatory environment surrounding smartphone-based digital marketplaces. Epic Games, the creator of Fortnite, has filed lawsuits against Apple and Google, claiming that their practices in the iOS and Android stores are excessively restrictive and unfair.

Despite Apple’s victory in the legal dispute against Epic Games in April, the game developer sought the Supreme Court’s involvement in September, urging a review of whether Apple’s software business violates federal antitrust laws. In a separate action, Apple filed a legal case against the European Commission’s Digital Markets Act, a move that could compel Apple to open its app store ecosystem.

Increased regulatory scrutiny on app store monopolies, coupled with the implementation of the EU’s Digital Markets Act (DMA), is establishing favourable conditions for Microsoft to enter the market.

The mobile platform is highly dominated by Google PlayStore on the Android platform and the App Store on the iOS platform. It is to be seen how Microsoft will launch the app store in the future, given that it does not own a mobile store. However, Microsoft’s entry is a challenge to Apple and Google amidst the escalating scrutiny over their app store practices.

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