Xbox boss Phil Spencer revealed in an interview with the Financial Times that Microsoft is preparing to launch an Xbox mobile game store on iOS and Android. The earliest time is next year, and the specific date depends on when regulators approve the Activision Blizzard acquisition. “We want to make sure that games from Xbox and third party partners are available on any platform that someone wants to play,” said Spencer.
In documents submitted to the UK Competition and Markets Authority last year, Microsoft mentioned for the first time plans to prepare a mobile games store. At the time, they did not give a specific timetable, only saying that the deal with Activision Blizzard would play a key role. “The upcoming Digital Markets Act is something we have foreseen in our plans, and I believe it will be a huge opportunity,” said Spencer. Under the bill, major platforms, defined by the EU as “gatekeepers,” are required to open up their devices to competing app stores. Bloomberg reported last year that Apple had started working on a March 2024 deadline to make iOS compliant with the act.
However, before the new regulations take effect, it is difficult to guarantee that Microsoft can complete the acquisition of Activision Blizzard. In an interview, Spencer seemed to accept that, although he stressed that it would be “pretty trivial” for Microsoft to adapt its existing Xbox and Game Pass apps to sell games and subscriptions via mobile devices.
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