Microsoft’s web-based mobile game store opens in July


In a couple of months, you’ll be able to get Microsoft’s mobile games from its own store. Xbox President Sarah Bond has revealed at the Bloomberg Technology Summit that the company is launching a web-based store where you can download its mobile games and get add-ons or in-app purchases at a discount. Bond said the company has decided to launch a browser-based store instead of an app to make it “accessible across all devices, all countries, no matter what” so that you don’t get “locked to a single ecosystem.”

Microsoft will only host its own games to start with, which means it will feature a lot of titles from Activision Blizzard. If you’ll recall, it snapped up the gaming developer and publisher in a $70 billion deal that closed last year. You’ll most likely find Candy Crush Saga, which has apparently generated $20 billion in revenue since it launched in 2012, and Call of Duty’s mobile games in the first batch of titles available for download. Bond said that Minecraft may also be one of the first games you can get.

An Xbox spokesperson told Bloomberg that this is “just the first step in [the company’s] journey to building a trusted app store with its roots in gaming.” Microsoft plans to open the app store to third-party publishers in the future, though it didn’t share a timeline for that goal.

The company first announced its intention to launch a gaming store for Android and iOS devices last year shortly before rules under the EU’s Digital Markets Act became applicable. To comply with DMA rules, Apple and Google have to allow third-party app stores to be accessible on their platforms and to offer alternative billing systems for purchases. They’re also compelled to allow app sideloading, which will be a massive change for Apple, a company known for its “walled garden” approach to business.

Operators of third-party app stores will get to avoid some of the fees Google and Apple charge, but they’d still have to pay the companies for bypassing their mobile platforms’ official stores. Both tech giants have already outlined how they’re changing things up to comply with the DMA regulations. The companies’ rivals found the changes they’re making insufficient, however, prompting the European Commission to start investigating their compliance plans.



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