Microsoft is reportedly working on a mobile gaming store to directly take on Apple’s App Store and Google’s Play Store.
It would reportedly offer more choice and flexibility for developers and players, according to Phil Spencer, the head of the company’s Xbox division.
“It’s an important part of our strategy and something we are actively working on today not only alone, but talking to other partners who’d also like to see more choice for how they can monetize on the phone,” Spencer said in a recent interview, via Blomberg.
Spencer did not mention when the store would launch. He did say that the store isn’t multiple years away. “I think this is sooner than that,” he said.
Microsoft has been expanding its gaming presence across different platforms and regions. It recently completed its $69 billion USD (about $94.2 billion CAD) acquisition of Activision Blizzard, the maker of popular games like Call of Duty, World of Warcraft, Diablo and Candy Crush, boosting its footprint in the mobile-gaming market.
How much success Microsoft can achieve in the mobile store market is up for debate. Apple and Google control the majority of the mobile gaming revenue through their iOS and Android app stores. These practices have sparked legal and regulatory challenges from game makers and authorities. Epic Games sued both Apple and Google over their app store policies, alleging they are anticompetitive and unfair.
According to Spencer, Microsoft’s mobile gaming store would leverage its cloud gaming technology, which allows users to stream high-quality games to their phones without downloading them.
“We’ve talked about choice, and today on your mobile phones, you don’t have choice,” Spencer said. “To make sure that Xbox is not only relevant today but for the next 10, 20 years, we’re going to have to be strong across many screens.”
Check out Bloomberg’s complete report here.
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