Microsoft Challenges Google And Apple With Xbox Mobile Game Store

Microsoft is ready to shake up the status quo with an Xbox mobile game store this July, breathing life into a plan that’s long been in the works. This puts the tech giant in direct competition against Google and Apple, who have dominated the scene over the years.

“We’re going to start by bringing our own first-party portfolio to [the Xbox mobile store], so you’re going to see games like Candy Crush show up in that experience, games like Minecraft,” say Xbox president Sarah Bond in a Bloomberg Technology Summit on 9 May. “We’re going to start on the web, and we’re doing that because that really allows us to have it be an experience that’s accessible across all devices, all countries, no matter what and independent of the policies of closed ecosystem stores.”

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The Xbox store will focus on first-party mobile games from Microsoft’s various studios, including Call of Duty: Mobile, before expanding to add partner titles sometime in the future. It won’t be a dedicated app, however, available only on the web.

It’s unclear how this will be positioned as an alternative to the Google Play Store and App Store, but there are to plans to eventually “extend” beyond the web with complete third-party support. For now, the goal seems to be building a cohesive Xbox ecosystem, such that the store experience “goes truly across devices.”

Microsoft Xbox Mobile Game Store

Microsoft first hinted at a “next-generation store” in early 2022, following the announcement of its Activision Blizzard acquisition.  “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,” said Microsoft Gaming CEO Phil Spencer in an interview with the Financial Times last year.

“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.”