Microsoft could launch its app store on the iPhone and iPad as soon as 2024. The European Union’s Digital Markets Act will reportedly make major changes in March 2024, which will allow other app and game developers to introduce their own app stores that could co-exist with the Apple App Store on iOS and iPadOS. And now it seems that Microsoft will be among the early players to push out its own store for Xbox apps and games after EU rules come into force.
According to a report by the Financial Times, Microsoft’s gaming chief Phil Spencer revealed prior to the annual Game Developer Conference that the company wants to open its own app store for both iOS and Android. The store is expected to go live by March 2024, soon after Microsoft is done finalising its $69 billion (roughly Rs. 5,68,094 crore) acquisition of Activision Blizzard.
Spencer says that Microsoft wants to offer the Xbox experience as well as all its associated content across screens, especially on mobile devices. The present scenario doesn’t allow Microsoft to do that on mobile, but the company wants to make that happen in the near future.
While Microsoft is currently dealing with antitrust regulators over concerns that it could hurt market competition by acquiring Activision Blizzard, Spencer believes this deal could help players on smartphones get more options, which he considers the biggest platform people currently play on.
The Microsoft app store could also help the company grow its cloud gaming service, which is currently available in a limited state on iOS. While Android users have a dedicated app for that, iPhone users need to access it via the web browser. If Microsoft were to have an app, it would need to list all those games individually on the App Store, with Apple taking a 30 percent cut from every sale. The Microsoft app store could help the company bypass Apple’s App Store rules.
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