Microsoft is releasing a software development kit which will allow game developers to integrate Xbox Live into titles across multiple platforms, including the Nintendo Switch, according to a presentation planned for the Game Developers Conference 2019.
GDC attendees can get a first glimpse of the software development kit (SDK) which will allow them to use Xbox Live for not just Xbox titles and Microsoft PC titles, but also iOS, Nintendo Switch, and Android games. This will expand the potential reach of Xbox Live to more than 2 billion devices, according to the presenters.
“Now Xbox Live is about to get MUCH bigger,” the description for the presentation stated. “Xbox Live is expanding from 400M gaming devices and a reach to over 68M active players to over 2B devices with the release of our new cross-platform XDK.”
For developers, this is a way to offer players across different platforms one central way to view their “gaming achievement history, their friends list, their clubs, and more.”
The presentation aims to show developers the ease of providing Xbox Live (along with PlayFab services) across platforms to handle “social, communication, and multiplayer interactions,” as well as convince game producers that integrated Xbox Live across multiple devices is the best way to engage an audience, as it can “watch, buy, play, pause, and continue their games from one device to the next on top of the most reliable social and multiplayer network in the world.”
The offering seems in line with what we’ve come to anticipate from Microsoft, as talks from Phil Spencer last summer, Microsoft’s vice president who oversees gaming and Variety500 recipient, revealed that the company is looking beyond consoles to reach a gaming audience.
“There are 2 billion people who play video games on the planet,” said Spencer. “The business is over $150 billion and both numbers are growing by double digits.
“Then talk about Microsoft, which is a huge company with huge aspirations and this is a business we are in with great leaders, great teams, great fans. I love the Xbox One team, they did an incredible job with that and we have a long term commitment to the console space, but when you think about 2 billion people, we’re not going to sell 2 billion people a game console.”
Microsoft has its own Netflix-like, game streaming service in the works to reach this larger audience for games.