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Microsoft Set To Launch Mobile Games Store This July

Microsoft announced that it will open a mobile games store to compete with Apple and Google in July.


Microsoft will open a mobile game store in July to compete with Google Play and Apple's App Store. Xbox president Sarah Bond recently announced the move at the Bloomberg Technology Summit, stating that the store will launch on the web, rather than through an app, in order to maximize accessibility across many devices.

Microsoft stated that it planned to launch a gaming storefront last year after the European Union's Digital Markets Act made it easier for tech companies to start their own direct-to-consumer stores, eschewing Apple's dominant "walled garden" approach. Bond said that the store will initially feature games from Microsoft-owned studios, such as Candy Crush Saga.

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This storefront marks Microsoft's latest attempt at entering the lucrative mobile gaming space, a market segment that Xbox is not usually associated with. The platform holder's $69 million acquisition of Activision Blizzard helped set up this move, as that publisher includes Candy Crush developer King, one of the biggest players in the mobile space.

This decision comes at a difficult time for Microsoft's gaming division. Xbox was heavily criticized earlier in May for closing multiple studios, including Tango Gameworks and Arkane Austin, which are well-known for producing critically acclaimed games like Hi-Fi Rush and Dishonored, respectively. Bond defended that decision at that same summit, saying that the company looked at "a whole variety of factors" when making such decisions. She also cited a lack of growth and the rising cost of making "beautiful AAA blockbuster games" as key reasons for the closures.

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