Microsoft is launching new cloud-based tools for game developers, including software development kits (SDKs) allowing for more cross-platform capabilities between Xbox Live and iOS and Android, it announced on Thursday.
The new tools are collectively called Microsoft Game Stack and include all of the company’s game development platforms, tools, and services — Azure, PlayFab, DirectX, Visual Studio, Xbox Live, App Center, and Havok.
“The goal of Game Stack is to help you easily discover the tools and services you need to create and operate your game,” Kareem Choudhry, corporate vice president of Gaming Cloud at Microsoft, said in blog post.
One major component of Game Stack is Xbox Live, which will provide identity and community services to mobile developers, letting them integrate the service’s privacy, online safety, and child account features on Android and iOS.
Game Stack is also cloud, network, and device agnostic, Microsoft said, so game developers can pick and choose which tools they want to use without being locked into the entire ecosystem.
One of the Game Stack tools, the backend platform PlayFab, is a new acquisition for Microsoft, and the company said it’s launching five new services for it in the near future. PlayFab Matchmaking is adapted from Xbox Live matchmaking and it’s available to all games and devices. PlayFab Party offers voice and chat services, while PlayFab Insights has real-time game telemetry. PlayFab PubSub lets developers subscribe their game clients to messages pushed from servers via a persistent connection, allowing for real-time content updates, notifications, and more. Finally, PlayFab User Generated Content lets players create and share content with others; its technology was originally built to support the “Minecraft” marketplace.
“As we expand our focus to the cloud, the nature of the platform may be changing, but our commitment to empower game developers like yourself is unwavering, and we’re looking forward to the journey ahead with Microsoft Game Stack,” said Choudhry. “Our teams are inspired and excited by the possibilities as we start to pull together all these great services and technologies.”