Microsoft has announced that, pending regulatory approval of its acquisition of Activision Blizzard, it intends to release a new app store for iOS and Android games by 2024. Xbox boss Phil Spencer has said that the company aspires to make Xbox and first- and third-party content available on any screen a player may use. Apple’s policy of not allowing third-party app stores on iOS and iPadOS makes this impossible at this time.
Microsoft’s move comes as regulators have been putting pressure on other tech giants like Apple and Google to open up their app stores to encourage better competition. The new app store’s goal is to let gamers play their favorite games on their mobile devices whenever and wherever they like. Spencer suggested that well-known games like Candy Crush and Call of Duty: Mobile might be available in the forthcoming app store.
In regulatory filings made in 2022, Microsoft confirmed plans for this very app store, calling it a “next-generation store.” To get this app store up and running, Microsoft, however, faces significant challenges. European regulators appear to be on the verge of approving the company’s Activision deal, but in the United States, the FTC is opposed to the deal and has even sued to block it. Both Apple and Google would need to allow third-party retailers into their respective app stores.
Finally, users will be able to access their favorite Xbox games from their mobile devices as Microsoft prepares to launch a new app store for games on iOS and Android. Still, Microsoft faces a number of challenges before its app store can launch. However, if the business is successful, it has the potential to shake up the gaming industry by expanding consumers’ range of options for playing their favorite titles.