Microsoft aims for greater store opening: how will Xbox change?

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In the declaration of programmatic intent published yesterday by Microsoft also in view of the acquisition of Activision Blizzard there is clear mention of a will to open digital stores more to cater to developers and users, but how this will be reflected on Xbox and its specific store?

This aspect is examined today in an in-depth study by The Verge, which explores the element most related to the stores that has a great importance, despite having made less noise than the confirmation that Call of Duty will also remain on PlayStation (and could even be brought on Nintendo Switch). Microsoft defended its business model during the famous trial between Epic and Apple on this issue, but there is no doubt that the reflections of that movement are beginning to be seen, regardless of the actual results in court.

The Redmond house pointed out that the sale of consoles does not allow to profit in the videogame market, but that it is a driving force, however, for the fundamental spread of proprietary digital stores, which instead allow the greatest earnings.

Microsoft: CEO Satya Nadella said he was rather calm about the acquisition of Activision Blizzard

A radical transformation of the Xbox Store it would have heavy consequences on the entire Xbox field in terms of consoles and at the moment in fact it is not under consideration in a total way.

The 11 principles listed yesterday by the president of Microsoft Brad Smith in the famous official blog concern the store related to Windows mainly and in part also the Xbox Store, which will immediately stick to 7 of these 11 points. In practice they will be implemented on the console store i first 7 principlesor those divided into the first three groups:

  • Security and quality control (any developer can access the store as long as they respect certain security limits for users, the continuation of the use of security systems adopted by Microsoft to guarantee this to users and respect for privacy)
  • Liability (management of third party apps at the same level as the owners and commitment not to use information or data from the app store to compete with third party apps)
  • Fairness and transparency (equal treatment for third party apps compared to first party ones in terms of visibility and promotion and transparency in the rules on product promotion and management in the app store)

There is therefore a substantial parification in the management of the app on the Windows store with that of games on the Xbox Store, but the last section, the one specifically dedicated to freedom of choice for developers, will not be applied to consoles, at least for the moment. This last part concerns the possibility, left to the developers, to use alternative payment systems to the official ones of the store in question without Microsoft influencing the choice with differentiated treatments, in addition to the possibility of establishing a direct and alternative communication channel to the store with users.

These latter aspects, which also emerged in an important way during the Epic trial against Apple, are the most complicated to get to the consoles but could further transform the landscape of these. It remains to be seen whether Microsoft will lower the revenue share of 30% applied to store transactions: it seems that the company has plans to lower your tax from 30 to 12% on the Windows Store apps, or a share equal to that taken by Epic on the Epic Games Store, but the key element will be to see if this initiative can also move to the Xbox Store, which could further modify the entire panorama of the videogame market.

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