At this year’s Game Developers Conference, Microsoft is making a case to mobile game developers that they should use Xbox Live for their games. As it turns out, it’s about more than achievements and friend lists.
Xbox’s upcoming development tools to implement Xbox Live on non-Xbox, non-Windows platforms is currently limited to #iOS and #Android devices. Despite this week’s announcement of Xbox-exclusive “Cuphead” coming to Nintendo’s Switch this April complete with Xbox Live integration, there aren’t current plans to offer the tools to build that into Switch titles.
Instead, Xbox is at #GDC offering what it believes to be a relatively painless means of not only integrating Xbox Live features into their games, it’s giving them access to a host of core functionality and features that might otherwise prove elusive — or that can only be found with some of Microsoft’s non-gaming competitors.
At the core of Xbox is offering is what the company is calling a “trusted gaming identity.” This is more fundamental than a Gamertag or handle. This is referring to the base identity tied to all of Microsoft’s services; the sign-in you might use for Live mail, Xbox Live, Office, Skype, or any of Microsoft’s other services. Attached to this base identity is payment and billing methods and of the security, Microsoft has developed, including two-factor authorization via app or text messaging. It also includes support for Microsoft’s parental content controls and restrictions, an increasingly critical element of mobile applications and games.