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Microsoft wants to launch a game app store on Android and iOS

Microsoft wants to create a mobile game app store that can challenge Google and Apple.

Published onMarch 20, 2023

Microsoft logo at MWC
Kris Carlon / Android Authority
  • Phil Spencer spoke about Microsoft’s desire to launch an app store for games on Android and iOS.
  • Google and Apple still prevent other app stores from existing on their platforms.
  • The situation could change soon after recent rulings.

It seems rare these days to hear Microsoft-related gaming news that isn’t about its Activision Blizzard acquisition struggles. But the head of the Xbox, Phil Spencer, has given us something new to talk about — a potential mobile app store for games.

In an interview with the Financial Times, Spencer spoke about Microsoft’s desire to launch an app store for games on Android and iOS. “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,” said Spencer.

He also acknowledged the fact that it may not be possible at the moment. “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.”

As of right now, Apple doesn’t allow third-party app stores on iOS. The same was true for Google’s Android OS until a ruling from the Competition Commission of India (CCI) demanded the company to open up its platform in India. Google has said that it plans to appeal some aspects of the CCI’s ruling, however.

Despite the wall in Microsoft’s way, Spencer’s words reveal that the tech giant is already looking ahead to a day when it will be possible for its app store to exist on Android and iOS. India’s decision has set a path that could lead to more countries demanding Apple and Google to open up its ecosystem. In fact, the new rules in the European Union’s Digital Markets Act, which seeks to increase competition in app markets, could mean that day will be here sooner than later.

This isn’t the first time we’ve heard of Microsoft’s plans to challenge the Google and Apple app stores. To bring this story full circle, the first mention of this occurred when the Redmond-based organization tried to defend its Activision Blizzard acquisition by stating its motivation was to help build out its mobile gaming presence.