Xbox mobile games store launches on web in July

New marketplace to launch with Microsoft's own-IP first, including Candy Crush Saga and Minecraft

Xbox mobile games store launches on web in July

Microsoft will launch its Xbox mobile games store in July as it looks to take on Apple and Google.

Speaking to Bloomberg Live, Xbox president Sarah Bond said the new marketplace would start on web to ensure it is “accessible across all devices, all countries, no matter what, independent of the policies of closed ecosystem stores”.

She added that the new store would launch with titles from Microsoft’s own portfolio, including titles like Candy Crush Saga and Minecraft. It will then open up the marketplace to other publishers.

Games-focused mobile store

Ultimately, Bond said, Microsoft wants to create a “true, cross-platform, game-centric mobile experience”. She also claimed that mobile was one of the key drivers behind its $69 billion acquisition of Activison Blizzard.

“We talk a lot about how there are three billion gamers around the world,” said Bond.

“Two of those billion play on mobile, and half of those actually play on mobile and they play on another device.

“But there isn’t actually a gaming platform and store experience that is centred around players and goes truly across device, where who you are, your library, your identity, your rewards, but that travels with you , versus being locked to a single ecosystem.

“And we’ve recognised that opportunity for a long time, but we wanted to make sure that anything we built was really grounded in people who play those mobile native games and the creators of them.”

Mobile marketplace competition heats up

Microsoft previously launched the Xbox Game Pass app on iOS, but Apple's restrictions on approvals and monetisation have limited much of its ambitions to the web. Microsoft Gaming CEO Phil Spencer previously told The Verge that "there’s not room for us to monetise Xbox Cloud Gaming on iOS".

News that Microsoft will launch a web marketplace for mobile games comes just months after Epic announced its intentions to release the Epic Games Store on iOS and Android by the end of 2024.

The arrival of new mobile app stores has been boosted by a global regulatory crackdown on platform holders Apple and Google over their mobile marketplace dominance and payment policies.

The European Union’s Digital Markets Act has forced Apple in particular to open up its ecosystem to other stores and payment providers.

Apple has introduced new policies and business terms to adhere to the terms, though the European Commission has opened up an “non-compliance” investigation into the firm - and others - into whether it is following the law.

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Craig Chapple is a freelance analyst, consultant and writer with specialist knowledge of the games industry. He has previously served as Senior Editor at, as well as holding roles at Sensor Tower, Nintendo and Develop.