Microsoft Announces Web-Based Xbox Games Store for iOS and Android

Microsoft Announces Web-Based Xbox Games Store for iOS and Android

Microsoft is finally bringing its Xbox game store to iOS and Android, confirming the previous reports hinting Microsoft’s mobile game store is in the pipeline. That said, Microsoft has confirmed that it will release the store this July.

Xbox President Sarah Bond at the Bloomberg Technology Summit confirmed the plans for a web-based store, where you can download mobile games and buy add-ons or in-app items at a lower price. Instead of an app, Microsoft opted for a browser-based store to ensure accessibility across different devices and countries. 

Further reports suggest that popular Xbox titles such as Candy Crush and Minecraft will be part of the upcoming launch, with other third-party games to follow. For reference, Candy Crush titles were originally owned by King Digital, but Activision Blizzard later acquired it (and now it’s a part of Microsoft). However, it remains uncertain how these games will be distributed through the web via the Xbox Games Store. Given Microsoft’s attention to cloud gaming in recent years, there’s a possibility that the latter may play a key role in distribution. 

There’s Always a Backstory

Last year, Microsoft said it wanted to create a gaming store for Android and iOS devices before new rules from the EU’s Digital Markets Act (DMA) took effect. These rules state Apple and Google must let other app stores work on their platforms and allow different ways to pay for things in apps. As a result, Apple and Google also have to allow app sideloading, which often pisses out Apple and it cites privacy concerns. 

The bottom line is that it makes sense for Microsoft to switch to a web-based store instead of an app-based one. Since only people in the EU can sideload apps on their Apple devices, everyone else has to use the App Store. So, a web store is the only way for Microsoft to let people everywhere play Xbox games on their phones.

Moreover, iPadOS is another in the queue that might be affected by the EU’s Digital Markets Act (DMA), but that’s still a long story. 


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