The “Xbox Live: Growing & Engaging Your Gaming Community Across IOS, Android; Switch, Xbox and PC” conference session is led by members of the Xbox team.
It promises a first look at a new “XDK cross platform” that enables game developers to connect players between IOS, Android and Switch; in addition to Xbox and any game in the Microsoft Store on Windows PCs.
This will increase Xbox Live’s potential audience from 400 million gaming devices to over 2 billion, according to Microsoft — the service now has 68 million active players.
Microsoft has been slowly opening the walled garden of the Xbox platform for years now. Back in 2014, Microsoft bought the Mojang Minecraft maker, but continued to support the game on many platforms outside of Microsoft.
In 2016, the company officially opened the Xbox One to enable players to play on other platforms and eventually pressed Sony to do the same reluctantly.
The apparent move of Microsoft Xbox Live follows a similar announcement from Epic Games; which said in December that it would start sharing the online cross-platform services used in Fortnite with developers for free.
Now that cross-platform gameplay and services are expected in the world of gaming; the gold rush is the company that controls the social and network infrastructure.