Microsoft is working on a mobile game version of the Xbox Store.
The news comes straight from documents Microsoft filed with the UK regulatory body investigating the acquisition of Activision Blizzard.
The filings show Microsoft’s desire to “scale the Xbox Store to mobile” to compete with the Google Play Store and Apple’s App Store.
That’s a bold plan. The mobile gaming market was worth $85 billion back in 2020. With COVID-era restrictions, that number is only going to be higher today.
The filings reveal that Call of Duty: Mobile and ancillary revenue was “more than half of Activision Blizzard’s revenue in the first half of 2022.”
That’s huge and will be a nice revenue stream for Microsoft if regulators approve the acquisition.
Microsoft will have a long battle ahead to bring the Xbox mobile game store to fruition. Epic Games is still battling Apple in the courts over the latter’s App Store policies.
One of those policies keeps third-party app stores off of iOS devices. It’s not clear how Microsoft aims to bring the Xbox mobile app store to the platform. Currently, Xbox Cloud Gaming on iOS works through the browser.
Microsoft has already laid the ground work for its inevitable court battles. Earlier this year, it enacted a set of Open App Store Principles.
Included in these guidelines is the ability for third-party in-app payments and easier access to third-party app stores and apps.
These are the key issues being argued in the Epic Games vs Apple lawsuit. Microsoft will be closely watching that legal battle, as it also pertains to the future of the Xbox mobile game store.
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