Microsoft to launch a web-based gaming store in July

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Key notes

  • Microsoft launches its own online store for mobile game purchases in July, bypassing app store fees.
  • Web-based store offers discounts on in-game items for Microsoft titles initially, with plans to expand to other publishers.
  • Move follows EU regulations allowing alternative in-app purchase methods, shaking up mobile gaming market dominance.

Microsoft is making a big play in the mobile gaming market with the announcement of its own online store for in-game purchases, launching in July. This can challenge the dominance of Apple’s App Store and Google Play Store, both of which charge developers a hefty 30% fee on sales.

Microsoft’s store will be a web-based platform accessible from any device with a browser. 

This web-based store is the first step in our journey to building a trusted app store with its roots in gaming

an Xbox spokesperson said in an email.

The store will initially have Microsoft’s own titles. Players can expect discounts on in-game items like extra lives or power-ups. Microsoft plans to expand the store to include games from other publishers in the future.

This announcement comes after the application of the European Union’s Digital Markets Act, which took effect in March 2024. The act loosens restrictions on app stores, which lets developers to seek alternative methods of selling digital products without incurring the usual app store fees.

Microsoft’s entry into the mobile game store market, armed with a major acquisition like Activision Blizzard (owner of Candy Crush and Call of Duty), is a significant shakeup. With its user-friendly web platform and potential for wider publisher inclusion, Microsoft’s store has the potential to lure gamers and developers alike. 

This will undoubtedly force Apple and Google to re-evaluate their app store fees and potentially lead to a more competitive landscape for mobile game players.

More here.