Apple and Google are currently dominating the smartphone space, especially Google where their own app store is on pretty much nearly every Android device out there in the market today. This is a huge deal because all purchases made will see a portion of that money go to Google in commission fees.
Given the popularity of some mobile games and the millions of dollars that can be made through in-app purchases, it’s not surprising that Microsoft now wants in on the action. Phil Spencer, Microsoft’s head of the Xbox division, has confirmed that the company is in talks with various partners about the launch of a mobile game store.
Microsoft currently has their own storefront for Windows apps, but a mobile game store could be a great alternative for developers of mobile games who might not want to pay the commission that Apple and Google takes. Presumably Microsoft could be offering a lower cut compared to Apple and Google otherwise it’s hard to imagine why developers would go with them instead of using Apple or Google’s native app stores.
That being said, there are definitely challenges that lie ahead for Microsoft. Firstly, they would need to convince customers to download or use a separate app store for games, especially if users prefer to consolidate all their apps. Secondly, there could be an issue with Apple, who at the moment still does not allow third-party app stores on its iOS platform.
The EU does have a law that is coming into effect that would effectively force Apple to open up its ecosystem, but Apple is fighting it and it remains to be seen how that will turn out.