Microsoft wants to bring the Xbox Live experience to two billion gamers around the world, so they’re launching a new developer’s kit that will make it easy for game makers to integrate some of the key Xbox Live features into mobile games.
The Xbox Live developers kit will allow game makers to select features they want to integrate into their games, including friend lists, club membership, and hero stats. They’ll also be able to do it through a single-sign on to a Microsoft account, and build in safety features, such as blocking, muting, and account permissions—all features found in games already part of the subscription-based gaming network.
The new initiative, called Game Stack, “brings together all of our game-development platforms, tools, and services—such as Azure, PlayFab, DirectX, Visual Studio, Xbox Live, App Center, and Havok—into a robust ecosystem that any game developer can use. 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, Microsoft’s head of gaming, said in a blog post.
Developers can also choose from tools, such as PlayFab Matchmaking, which pairs people up people in multiplayer games, and is now available in a public preview. PlayFab Party, which offers voice, and chat services adapted from Xbox Party Chat, is being offered in private preview. Another feature, PlayFab Insights, will use the power of Microsoft’s Azure cloud to offer developers insights about how people are playing their games.
Some Microsoft Studios mobile games already have Xbox live features, however the new developers kit marks the latest push for Microsoft as it seeks to make it services available across multiple platforms, and engage even more gamers.
The announcement also raises the question of whether Xbox Live could be coming to other gaming platforms, including the Nintendo Switch, and Sony’s PS4. Choudhry told The Verge there isn’t anything to announce–yet.
“If you’ve watched us for the past few years, we’ve taken a very inclusive approach,” he said.