The winds of change are starting to blow more and more. The European Union’s Digital Markets Act is only a year away from coming into force, which will force Apple to allow the existence of alternative app stores in addition to the App Store.
Microsoft knows that a year goes by very fast, and they have already started working on it. So much so that the head of Microsoft’s gaming division Phil Spencer has already stated in the Financial Times that the company will want to open an Xbox game store on iOS.
Competition from the App Store may start with games
Microsoft’s intention is clear: that users can play Xbox games from any screen. Mobile, tablet, whatever. It can already be done (in testing phase) from the browser and through Xbox Cloud Gaming added to Game Pass, but the ideal is to have a native store from which to offer a better experience. In Spencer’s words:
We want to be in the position to deliver content from Xbox and our partners across any screen you want to play from. We can’t do that on mobile today, but we want to move now to a future world where we believe those devices will be open.
Apple may like this more or less, but the reality is that rumors are already swirling about an iOS 17 ready to support alternative app stores. The law is going to be what it is going to be, and Cupertino will have no choice but to comply.
An Xbox service game store will be a very serious competitor to Apple Arcade, the Cupertino company’s game subscription service. At the same time, that competition would force other companies to make moves, with us users being the main beneficiaries.
There may be a security debate with the end of App Store exclusivity, but at the same time it could lead to a very interesting situation. After Microsoft, there will be little deterrent for other stores like Epic Games Store to make similar moves.
Rachel Maga is a technology journalist currently working at Globe Live Media agency. She has been in the Technology Journalism field for over 5 years now. Her life’s biggest milestone is the inside tour of Tesla Industries, which was gifted to her by the legend Elon Musk himself.