Xbox To Launch Mobile Store Via Web In July; Microsoft Sees ‘Tremendous Growth’ In Cloud Gaming

President of Xbox Sarah Bond announced during yesterday’s Bloomberg Tech talk with Dina Bass that the long-awaited Xbox mobile store will debut this July via Web (to avoid the limitations of the App Store and Play Store while regulators around the world enforce new guidelines). The first games to be added to the store will be Microsoft-owned franchises, like Minecraft and Candy Crush, though the store will be opened to partners shortly afterward.

We talk a lot about how there’s 3 billion gamers. Two of those play on mobile, and half of those actually play on mobile and they play on another device. But there isn’t actually a gaming platform in-store experience that is centered around players and goes truly across devices where who you are, your library, your identity, and your rewards travel with you versus being locked to a single ecosystem. We have recognized that opportunity for a long time, but we wanted to make sure that anything we built was really grounded in people who play those mobile native games and the creators of them.

Being joined with a team that has real deep expertise in mobile was important to us, but we are that now. In July, we are going to be launching our mobile store experience. We’re going to start by bringing our own first-party portfolio to that. You’re going to see games like Candy Crush and Minecraft show up, and then we’re going to extend that capability to partners so that they can also take advantage of it and have a true cross-platform gaming-centric mobile experience.

We’re going to start on the Web, and we’re doing that because that really allows us to have it be an experience that’s accessible across all devices, all countries, no matter what, independent of the policies of closed ecosystem stores, and then we’re going to extend from there.

News of the Xbox mobile store first hit in October 2023, when The Verge’s Tom Warren shared Microsoft’s plans to launch it sometime this year. In early December, Microsoft Gaming CEO Phil Spencer confirmed that it was a key component of the overall Xbox strategy; after all, as these executives have often said, the massive acquisition of Activision Blizzard was largely driven by the company’s mobile expertise.

During her chat at Bloomberg Tech, Sarah Bond also touched upon the status of cloud gaming. The executive noted that Xbox is seeing ‘tremendous growth’ with more demand than supply and, as such, Microsoft will increase its investments in the area and roll out increased capacity and new options to play in the cloud.

We have been investing in that for some time because we really believe that opening up these beautiful, immersive experiences to more gamers is important for industry growth, for developers. We know people want to play those experiences, and we’re seeing tremendous growth there. We have more demand than supply in that area. You’ll see us rolling out more capacity, introducing more options for people to jump in and play on the cloud. It is growing faster than the overall market, really bringing in new players and growth for us, so it’s an area where we’re investing more and we’re excited about.

As previously reported, the Xbox president also briefly touched upon the recent studio closures of Arkane Austin, Tango Gameworks, and Alpha Dog Games (Roundhouse Studios is being incorporated by ZeniMax Online), though her response was frustratingly vague.

On that topic, make sure to read our chat with MIDiA Research Games Analyst Rhys Elliott about the causes and the underlying vision behind them.

Share this story