Microsoft plans to launch a new game app store on iPhones and Android smartphones as early as next year if regulators approve its deal to buy Activision Blizzard, said Phil Spencer, head of Microsoft’s Xbox unit. According to the requirements of the EU’s “Digital Market Act”, Apple and Google need to open their mobile platforms (iOS/Android) to other app stores in March 2024.
In this regard, Phil Spencer said: “I hope players can play our Xbox and third-party games on any screen.”
Microsoft is currently negotiating with U.S., European Union and U.K. regulators over the acquisition of Activision Blizzard. Activision Blizzard’s Call of Duty is one of the most popular games in the world, and Sony has been vocally opposed to the deal.
But Phil Spencer believes that this deal can promote the full competition of smartphones, the most important gaming device at present, because the app stores of Apple and Google are currently regarded as “duopoly” by antitrust agencies.
Phil Spencer said: “We see the upcoming “Digital Market Act” as a good opportunity.” Popular titles such as God of Destruction: Immortal and Candy Crush Saga, as well as titles in development, could play a big role in poaching users from Apple and Google’s app stores to Xbox’s future mobile game store.