Microsoft’s mobile Xbox Store could bring cheaper games to your iPhone
Microsoft-owned Xbox could bring its own app store to your Android and Apple phone, according to the company’s head of games, Phil Spencer. If so, we could see some of our favorite apps and games cheaper on mobile.
Microsoft currently offers some mobile gaming experiences, like streaming Minecraft and Xbox Game Pass, but its new efforts could lead you to its own store instead of the iPhone App Store or Android Google Play Store.
In an interview with the Financial Times (opens in new tab), Phil Spencer stated: “We want to be able to deliver Xbox and content from us and from third parties to any screen.” This means you’ll need to continue your console and PC gaming efforts, but also expand your mobile efforts.
However, the Xbox mobile game store launch is not yet guaranteed. Spencer has explained that the launch can only happen if two things happen first.
For starters, Microsoft has to complete the acquisition of Activision Blizzard. The acquisition – which was announced more than a year ago on January 18, 2022 – has yet to come to fruition as regulators around the world are still investigating whether it would give Microsoft too much of an advantage over rivals like Sony. In addition to Overwatch 2 and Diablo 4, Activision Blizzard owns a ton of mobile games (such as Candy Crush, Hearthstone, and Crash Bandicoot: On the Run) that the Xbox Game Store would have to rely on to complete its catalogue.
In addition, the Xbox app store would be subject to the application of the EU Digital Market Law and other regulations. These new rules – which were approved in December 2022 but won’t take effect until March 2024 – should force Apple to open up its iPhone platforms to alternative app stores. However, it seems that Apple will only make changes in Europe, where the regulations apply.
App Store, Xbox game store, what’s the difference?
Does it really matter where you get your mobile games and apps from? Will there be that much of a difference between Apple’s App Store and Microsoft’s Xbox Store? We don’t know for sure, but the launch of the Xbox store could mean cheaper prices and more apps.
Currently, Apple and Google take a piece of the revenue earned by the applications in their mobile stores: 15% for small developers and 30% for large ones. However, if Microsoft were to release its own apps on its own store, you wouldn’t have to pay anything as you would get 100% of the revenue, so you could lower the prices for the same services.
Since these games would potentially be more profitable (since Microsoft wouldn’t have to share the revenue with anyone), we could also see it release more new games and apps exclusive to its platform. Microsoft would have a huge library of properties to work with (from Halo to Call of Duty to Spyro to Fallout to its Microsoft 365 productivity apps), so there’s a good chance you’d find something to take advantage of. your new store.
There is another potential advantage. Currently, if you buy games from the Apple App Store for your iPhone and then decide to switch to an Android phone, you’ll have to buy your apps and games from the Google Play Store again. This, of course, happens if you go from Android to iPhone. However, if the Microsoft app store is cross-platform, you may only need to purchase them once.
We’ll have to wait and see, but if Microsoft launches its own Xbox store for mobile, don’t be surprised if others like Epic Games and Spotify, who are adamantly opposed to a 30% cut in App Store revenue, try to make the same.