Microsoft is hopeful that the continuing ActiBlizz transaction will aid Xbox in expanding into the mobile and cloud gaming market. Phil Spencer, CEO of Microsoft’s Xbox division, alluded to the possibility of releasing a mobile storefront in the run-up to GDC 2023, and that’s exactly what the team plans to do.
Phil discussed Xbox’s future mobile intentions in an interview going up to the Game Developers Conference.
“We want to be in a position to offer Xbox and content from both us and our third-party partners across any screen where somebody would want to play.”
“Today, we can’t do that on mobile devices but we want to build towards a world that we think will be coming where those devices are opened up.”
Spencer and co. believe that the recently passed Digital Markets Act in the European Union will be beneficial to Xbox’s cause. The act’s March 2024 implementation date is meant to facilitate more competition in digital marketplaces.
“The Digital Markets Act that’s coming — those are the kinds of things that we are planning for […] I think it’s a huge opportunity.”
Then, it’s evident that playing games in the cloud will play a significant role in Xbox’s future. Phil has previously mentioned an Xbox Cloud Gaming device, which has been in development but has yet to be published, suggesting that the business has ambitions to expand into the cloud beyond its current lineup of hardware and distribution channels.
Is Microsoft saving “Project Keystone” for its eventual retail outlet? The team may be hoping that in the following months and years, ActiBlizz and Xbox’s drive into mobile gaming will finally come together, but who knows?