Developers Can Bring Xbox Live Features to iOS and Android Games
Microsoft has announced that it is bringing its Xbox Live network to iOS and Android. What this means is that developers will be able to bring Xbox Live functionality — achievements, friend lists, clubs, hero stats, and family settings — to iOS and Android games thanks to a new cross-platform mobile software development kit, or SDK.
There’s been much talk recently of Microsoft wanting to make its Xbox games and services available on other platforms, and this announcement ties in with that. Game developers can choose what Xbox Live services they want in their games. The user will need a Microsoft account, of course, to sign in and take advantage of said features.
“We believe so strongly in community, and Xbox Live really being at the heart of our gaming community,” explains Microsoft’s Kareem Choudhry, in a media briefing this week. “If you watch what we’ve done, especially with Minecraft, over the past few years we’ve taken Xbox Live to as many platforms as Minecraft is on as possible. Really uniting all those communities together with a consistent singular experience for those gamers.”
Despite being owned by Microsoft, Minecraft has appeared across multiple platforms so using this example makes a lot of sense. While there was some hope that Xbox Live would appear on competing consoles like the Nintendo Switch, Choudry reveals that it won’t be happening any time soon. “Our goal is to really unite the 2 billion gamers of the world and we’re big fans of our Xbox Live community, but we don’t have any specific announcements as it relates to Switch today.”
As for the PS4, Microsoft isn’t ruling it out entirely — that is if Sony wants to cooperate. “If you’ve watched us for the past few years, we’ve taken a very inclusive approach,” says Choudhry. “Phil [Spencer] has been very proactive on issues like crossplay, cross-progression, and uniting gamer networks, and we’re willing to partner with the industry as much as we possibly can.”
The software maker also announced a new Microsoft Game Stack for developers to use that combines all of the company’s developer tools, services, and platforms with Azure and PlayFab. These platforms help developers build and release cloud-based games.
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