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Microsoft in bid to make Xbox Live worldwide cross-platform gaming backend

05 February 2019

Microsoft will reveal plans for cross-platform Xbox Live functionality next month. The company is looking to bring Xbox Live to Android, iOS and even Nintendo's Switch. While I have no doubt that we'll see some monumental mobile games released in the future with the Xbox Live feature baked right in, are indie devs actually going to bother with the SDK when Play Games Services and Facebook already provide similar options?

Gearing up for their appearance at this year's Game Developers Conference in March, Microsoft is planning to launch a Software Development Kit (SDK) which will allow developers to integrate their titles across other platforms such as iOS, Android, and the Nintendo Switch.

The biggest change here is that Microsoft is seemingly willing to offer Xbox Live cross-platform services to third-party developers.

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Windows Central did grab the information that listed that "Xbox Live is one of the largest, most engaged gaming communities on the planet with decades of experience providing managed game services to developers that save you time and unlock all of the social and engagement features that players love". Instead of coding up your own account structure and online presence, the argument goes, why not simply plug into the preexisting, millions-strong Xbox Live user base? Most famous of these is Minecraft, which requires players to use an Xbox Live login on Android, iOS, and Switch. Basically, Microsoft wants to provide developers with the tools to implement Xbox Live across nearly all major platforms, expanding the network's reach to far more screens.

Besides offering assistance with "social, communication, and multiplayer interactions", Microsoft hints that end users will be able to "watch, buy, play, pause, and continue their games from one device to the next". Combined with PlayFab gaming services, this means less work for game developers and more time to focus on making games fun.

Microsoft in bid to make Xbox Live worldwide cross-platform gaming backend