Microsoft is in Talks With Partners About Launching an Xbox Mobile Store – Microsoft Gaming CEO Phil Spencer has revealed discussions with partners regarding the potential launch of an Xbox mobile store, as initially reported by Bloomberg. This statement was made by Spencer during an interview at the CCXP comics and entertainment convention in Brazil on Thursday.
The prospective mobile store aims to compete with Apple and Google and might be introduced sooner rather than later. Spencer emphasized his belief that the launch is not “multiple years away,” with earlier reports hinting at a potential release as early as next year. “It’s an important part of our strategy and something we are actively working on today not only alone, but talking to other partners who’d also like to see more choice for how they can monetize on the phone,” Spencer said during the interview
“I don’t think this is multiple years away, I think this is sooner than that.” While Microsoft’s intentions for an Xbox mobile store have been public for some time, Spencer’s recent remarks coincide with Microsoft’s official ownership of Activision Blizzard. It’s noteworthy that recent court documents revealed Activision Blizzard’s previous plans to establish its app store on Android.
In earlier statements, Microsoft indicated that a key motive behind acquiring Activision Blizzard was to strengthen its mobile gaming footprint, given Activision Blizzard’s success with titles such as Candy Crush and Call of Duty Mobile. Microsoft’s October 2022 filings with the CMA outlined its intention to establish a “Xbox Mobile Platform,” featuring mobile games from both Activision and King.
The finalization of Microsoft’s deal with Activision Blizzard occurred in October, nearly two years after its initial announcement. This delay likely impacted the company’s schedule for launching its mobile store. “We’ve talked about choice, and today on your mobile phones, you don’t have choice,’’ Spencer said during the interview. “To make sure that Xbox is not only relevant today but for the next 10, 20 years, we’re going to have to be strong across many screens.”
According to Bloomberg, Microsoft’s venture into mobile stores is unfolding within a complex regulatory landscape, heightened by the ongoing legal dispute between Epic Games and Apple. Despite Apple securing a victory in April, Epic Games sought Supreme Court intervention in September, questioning whether Apple’s software business breaches federal antitrust laws.