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Windows UWP necessary for Windows Store?

Do I understand it correctly that I would need the (relatively expensive) UWP license from YoYo Games in order to publish my game in the Windows Store? Is there no other way? That store calls for packages quite different than the EXE or ZIP file my GMS2 now produces (.msix..., .appx... or .xap).

If the Windows Store is too much for me, maybe I opt for Windows certification of my app. Does someone have experience with that? (My questions may be on the border between multiple forums...). EDIT: Maybe forget the certification. It is rather expensive to digitally sign the exe file.
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