Xbox president Sarah Bond confirms Xbox mobile store will launch soon — here's when

Sarah Bond, President of Xbox
(Image credit: Microsoft)

What you need to know

  • Microsoft Gaming executives previously discussed plans for an Xbox mobile store as part of the reason for acquiring Activision Blizzard.
  • Xbox president Sarah Bond confirmed to Bloomberg that this Xbox mobile store is planned for launch in July 2024. 
  • The store will be available on the web as an alternative to the Apple and Google stores, and will include first-party games like Candy Crush.

Microsoft Gaming is preparing for its big push into mobile. 

Xbox president Sarah Bond confirmed to Bloomberg on Thursday that an Xbox mobile store will be launching in July 2024. This store will not be an app, but is instead set to be available through the internet, providing an alternative to the Apple and Google storefronts.

"We're doing that because that really allows us to have it be an experience that's accessible across all devices, all countries, no matter what, independent of the policies of closed ecosystem stores, and then we're gonna extend from there."

Bond notes that the store will start with first-party games, namedropping Candy Crush from King and Minecraft from Mojang. The store will then be expanded to support any partners, though Bond didn't name specific examples. 

Expanding the Xbox ecosystem

Minecraft is a game Microsoft intends to bring to its mobile storefront. (Image credit: Mojang Studios)

Microsoft Gaming CEO Phil Spencer has previously outlined the need for Xbox to be "relevant" in mobile gaming, with this need cited as a key reason for Microsoft to acquire Activision Blizzard King. The deal took almost two years to complete, adding games like Call of Duty, Diablo, and Candy Crush to the Xbox portfolio. 

"It doesn't mean I want to turn all of our franchises into mobile franchises, it doesn't mean everything is going to go free-to-play," Spencer said at the time.

Prior to the acquisition, Activision Blizzard King had already brought Call of Duty and Diablo to mobile platforms through the launch of games like Call of Duty: Mobile and Diablo Immortal. This move accelerates existing mobile game development already present under Xbox, such as The Elder Scrolls: Castles from Bethesda Game Studios.

Analysis: A big task ahead

Microsoft's ambitions to grow in mobile gaming make sense, and its push to have a storefront away from Apple and Google's control can fit nicely the Xbox ecosystem.

The company has a huge task ahead however, as casual mobile game players are ingrained in the ease-of-use for their experience. Will hundreds of thousands of Candy Crush players be enticed to subscribe to Xbox Game Pass or go through the internet to use a different store just because of some benefits? I'm skeptical, but I eagerly await seeing what the teams have planned. 

Microsoft also has to contend with continued content pipeline problems across all the Xbox first-party division. The company recently shuttered three studios under ZeniMax Media, including Alpha Dog Games, a Canadian studio that developed mobile games like Mighty Doom. 

Japanese studio Tango Gameworks was also shut down despite being in the process of pitching a sequel to its 2023 hit Hi-Fi Rush, while the Arkane Studios' Austin team was likewise closed. 

Samuel Tolbert
Freelance Writer

Samuel Tolbert is a freelance writer covering gaming news, previews, reviews, interviews and different aspects of the gaming industry, specifically focusing on Xbox and PC gaming on Windows Central. You can find him on Twitter @SamuelTolbert.