The head of Microsoft’s games division has hinted that the company’s planned mobile game store could be ready next year.
Phil Spencer reiterated his intention to launch an Xbox-branded app store on iOS and Android devices, and explained that Microsoft is preparing for a time when it is legally possible.
In the interview, Spencer cited the Digital Markets Act, a new law that would require Apple and Google to allow users to access their apps from more than the App Store and Google Play Store.
“The Digital Markets Act is coming – that’s the kind of content we’re anticipating,” Spencer explained, adding, “I think it’s a huge opportunity.”
The Digital Markets Act was enacted by the European Parliament in September 2022 and will come into force on May 2, 2023.
The law will identify digital “gatekeepers” accused of using their power to discourage alternative businesses from engaging in digital sales. Once a guardian is identified, they must begin complying with the law by March 6, 2024. In the case of Apple and Google, this would include the right to install other app stores on iOS devices. and Android.
Then in theory – assuming the law isn’t appealed, which delays the deadline – March 6, 2024 is when Microsoft could add the Xbox Game Store to mobile devices.
“We want to be able to bring Xbox and content from us and our third-party partners to any screen someone wants to play on.”
“Today, we can’t do that on mobile, but we want to build a world that we believe will come where those devices are open.”
Microsoft has previously said that the main reason it proposed to acquire Activision Blizzard was the company’s existing mobile presence, from Call of Duty Mobile to games published by its King subsidiary (including including Candy Crush titles).