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Microsoft in discussions with potential partners over mobile app store for games

Microsoft Gaming CEO Phil Spencer hints its launch may not be far off
Microsoft in discussions with potential partners over mobile app store for games
  • Phil Spencer says mobile access needed to ensure its gaming division remains relevant for the next 20 years
  • European Union's Digital Markets Act could smooth path for new app store on iOS and Android

Microsoft is actively working on its own app store for games and is already in discussions with potential partners, says Microsoft Gaming CEO Phil Spencer.

Speaking to Bloomberg, Spencer took a swipe at mobile platform holders Apple and Google. He said that users today “don’t have choice” on mobile when it comes to where they get their games.

He added that to ensure Xbox remains relevant for the next 10 to 20 years, “we’re going to have to be strong across many screens”.

“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 monetise on the phone,” said Spencer.

While no specific launch date has been given, Spencer said he didn’t think it would be “multiple years away”, but rather “I think this is sooner than that”.

Cross-platform future

Earlier this year the Financial Times reported that Microsoft’s own app store could launch as soon as 2024. The tech giant hopes that the European Union’s Digital Markets Act could force Apple and Google to open up their platforms to other app stores.

Apple is reportedly set to challenge the new regulations in court as it seeks to maintain its market dominance on iOS.

Microsoft's grand vision for its Xbox business is to make games available across platforms through its Game Pass subscription service.

Mobile users can already stream titles through the company's cloud gaming service, though iPhone users need to go through the website rather than access them through the Game Pass app.