Microsoft’s efforts to challenge Apple and Google in the mobile realm will expand as soon as 2024, according to Xbox chief Phil Spencer.
The mooted Xbox mobile gaming store will seek to benefit from pending legal changes that may require Apple and Google to be less particular about who can set up shop within the iOS and Android ecosystems.
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The store, first announced last year, would be reliant on some big time Activision Blizzard-owned franchises like Candy Crush and Call of Duty: Mobile, and would seek to ensure Microsoft is major player on mobile, as well as on PC and console.
Currently, the company offers cloud gaming services for Xbox games on mobile devices (in Apple’s case through a web app), but a full-on mobile gaming store would bring the competition directly to the big hitters.
“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, the CEO of Microsoft Gaming 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.”
Speaking of new EU legislation that could force Apple and Google to level the playing field for third-party gaming providers, who currently only publish through the App Store or Google Play, Spencer added: “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.”
Should the legislation ensure Apple and Google must comply with allowing competing stores on their platforms, there’d likely be many more providers, such as Epic, looking to set up shop too.