In an interview to Financial Times head of Xbox Phil Spencer shared Microsoft’s gaming plans for the future. Thus, according to him, the company believes that the EU Digital Markets Act next year will “open” the Android and iOS ecosystem and make it possible the appearance of third-party application stores on these devices, including the Xbox App Store.
The Digital Markets Act is an EU regulation aimed at making the digital economy fairer and more competitive. According to it, companies controlling digital markets — such as app stores — must comply with the DMA’s requirements by March 6, 2024. According to Phil Spencer, this will force Apple and Google to allow Microsoft and other companies to sell their games on their platforms independently of the main app stores.
In Microsoft’s case, it should also allow the company to stream games to mobile devices and directly offer Xbox Game Pass subscriptions. And if (or when) Activision Blizzard’s acquisition is finally approved by the antitrust committee, Microsoft will also be able to sell all of King’s mobile games (Candy Crush, etc.) directly through its own Xbox App Store.
Of course, this all applies only to the European market: even if the events develop according to the best scenario for Microsoft, Apple and Google will still not let the Xbox App Store on their platforms in other markets – for example, in the US.