Microsoft’s mobile games store could launch as early as next year, the company’s head of gaming Phil Spencer has said. Thanks to the new Digital Markets Act–legislation that forces Apple and Google to allow users on its platforms to access apps from sources other than the App Store and Google Play Store–Spencer believes that this will create a “huge opportunity” for Xbox.
“The Digital Markets Act that’s coming–those are the kinds of things that we are planning for,” Spencer said in an interview with The Financial Times (via VGC). “I think it’s a huge opportunity. We want to be in a position to offer Xbox and content from both us and our third-party partners across any screen where somebody would want to play. Today, we can’t do that on mobile devices but we want to build towards a world that we think will be coming where those devices are opened up.”
Signed into law back in September 2022 by the European Market, the Digital Markets Act will officially become applicable on May 2. Microsoft has made a big push into the mobile scene with its cloud gaming efforts recently, and the company’s plan to acquire Activision Blizzard is fueled primarily by its goal to increase its foothold in the mobile market. If the deal is approved, Microsoft will own Candy Crush developer King, as well as Call of Duty Mobile, lucrative properties in a market that is estimated to have 238.7 million “active” users in the US alone.
“We don’t have a lot of creative capability that has built hit mobile games. We really started the discussions, internally at least, on Activision Blizzard, on the capability they had on mobile, and then PC with Blizzard,” Spencer said last year. “Those were the two things that were really driving our interest.”
In news related to Microsoft’s $69 billion plans, the European Commission has announced that it has pushed back the provisional deadline to rule on Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard to April 25. The European competition regulator is one of three key groups that Microsoft has to win over alongside the United Kingdom’s Competition & Markets Authority and the US’s Federal Trade Commission. The FTC is currently suing Microsoft in an attempt to halt the deal while major cross-industry union The Communication Workers of America has urged the European Commission to accept the buyout.
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