Microsoft has plans to be a major player in the mobile gaming space, with a company executive revealing that its mobile gaming app store could arrive as early as 2024.
Phil Spencer, Microsoft’s Head of Gaming, recently said the company wants to launch the Xbox mobile store by next year:
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 adds. "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.
The Digital Markets Act, new European Union legislation which is expected to arrive in 2024, will require mobile tech giants Google and Apple to allow third-party app stores on their platforms. The Google Play Store and Apple App Store are the online mobile app stores currently available on the Android and iOS mobile operating systems.
The new legislation gives other tech players access to the massive user bases of these two mobile operating systems.
Microsoft is making a big push into the mobile gaming scene with its acquisition of Activision Blizzard. The tech giant has mentioned that its main reason for purchasing the Call of Duty developers is to increase its foothold on the mobile gaming market. If the deal is finalized, Microsoft will gain control of Candy Crush, Call of Duty Mobile, and Diablo Immortal.
"We don't have a lot of creative capability that has built hit mobile games. We really started the discussions, internally at least, on Activision Blizzard, on the capability they had on mobile, and then PC with Blizzard," Spencer said in 2022. "Those were the two things that were really driving our interest."
Microsoft is currently seeking approval for its proposed acquisition from the European Commission, UK CMA, and US FTC. All three antitrust regulators have presently opposed the deal on the grounds that it may hamper competition.
The European Commission recently announced that it is moving the deadline to decide on the $69 million deal to April 25.