Xbox Talking to Partners for Mobile Store, CEO Spencer Says

(Bloomberg) -- Microsoft Corp. is talking to partners to help launch a mobile gaming store that will take on Apple Inc. and Google’s dominant position in the business, according to Phil Spencer, who leads the company’s Xbox video-game division.

“It’s an important part of our strategy and something we are actively working on today not only alone, but talking to other partners who’d also like to see more choice for how they can monetize on the phone,’’ Spencer said in an interview in Sao Paulo during the CCXP comics and entertainment convention.

The executive declined to give a specific date for a launch of the online store, which earlier reports suggested could be next year. “I don’t think this is multiple years away, I think this is sooner than that,’’ he said.

Microsoft earlier this year expanded its Game Pass subscription service for players on personal computers to 11 new Latin American countries, leading to a 7% increase in customers. Peru and Costa Rica are the standouts in terms of customer interest, accounting for almost half of new signups, Spencer said. Globally Brazil is the second-biggest market for the PC Game Pass. “In many ways Brazil leads a lot of the trends that we see globally,” Spencer said.