Microsoft gaming boss Phil Spencer looking at Xbox Games Store for mobile users. What do we know?
According to Xbox boss, Phil Spencer, Microsoft is planning to open its very own app store for games on iPhone and Android devices.
By March 2024, the EU’s Digital Markets Act (DMA) is anticipated to introduce fresh regulations that will oblige Apple and Google to allow app stores owned and run by other firms to access their mobile platforms.
The news comes as Microsoft plans to leverage this opportunity by launching its own Xbox platform, with its proposed acquisition of Activision Blizzard being a crucial component.
“We want to be in a position to offer Xbox and content from both us and our third-party partners across any screen where somebody would want to play,” Spencer told the Financial Times.
“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” he continued.
The Activision Blizzard acquisition
Two crucial factors need to be overcome before an Xbox Mobile app is created — completion of the Activision Blizzard acquisition by Microsoft, and the approval of the EU’s DMA.
The EU is poised to classify Apple and Google as “gatekeepers” in the mobile industry in March 2024, though they can both challenge this decision in order to postpone any actual enforcement.
Microsoft has suggested Apple’s App Store regulations are a hindrance to offering cloud gaming through a single, native iPhone app. Yet, Apple has denied any allegations of blocking cloud gaming apps. So who is correct?
The European Commission had initially set a deadline of 25 April to reach a decision regarding Microsoft’s proposed takeover of Activision Blizzard, but this has been extended to 22 May as of last week.
Spencer said that Microsoft’s current lack of mobile games was an “obvious hole in our capability” and requires Activision Blizzard to fill it.
Popular games like Call of Duty Mobile, Diablo Immortal, and Candy Crush Saga, as well as upcoming titles, would be “critically important” for an Xbox mobile store to be successful.
Spencer’s remarks suggest that the primary motivation for the approval of the deal is the potential for mobile gaming, despite the furore regarding Call of Duty and Sony.
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