Microsoft envisions a future where Apple will be forced to open up its App Store to third-party storefronts and hopes to take advantage of this changing tide with its own Xbox mobile marketplace.
In a recent interview with the Financial Times, Xbox CEO Phil Spencer said that Microsoft wants “to be in a position to offer Xbox content from both us and our third-party partners across any screen where somebody would want to play.”
“Today, we can’t do that on mobile devices but we want to build towards a world that we think will be coming where those devices are opened up,” said Spencer.
This isn’t the first we’ve heard of Xbox’s mobile gaming ambitions. Back in October, Microsoft detailed plans to build its own mobile apps store in a filing to the U.K.’s Competition and Markets Authority tied to its pending purchase of Activision Blizzard.
The Xbox mobile store will likely feature notable Activision Blizzard-owned mobile games like Candy Crush Saga, Call of Duty Mobile, Diablo Immortal and more.
While Microsoft could easily launch an Xbox storefront on Android right now, it needs regulators to push Apple to allow alternative stores on the iPhone and iPad. Through the EU’s Digital Markets Act, this could become a reality in the coming months.
“The Digital Markets Act that’s coming — those are the kinds of things that we are planning for,” said Spencer. “I think it’s a huge opportunity.” Microsoft has a small presence in mobile gaming right now, and the Xbox maker admitted that in a filing with the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) last year: “Microsoft currently has no meaningful presence in mobile gaming and the [Activision Blizzard] transaction will bring much needed expertise in mobile game development, marketing and advertising,” said Spencer during the interview.
Microsoft’s Xbox App Store will also likely be tied to its Xbox Cloud Gaming platform that allows players to stream dozens of titles, which is available through a native app on Android and via a browser on iPhone. With this in mind, it likely wouldn’t be difficult for Microsoft to adapt this app into a more unified app store on Android, and then port it over to iOS.
Source: Financial Times Via: Polygon