At a presentation at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco today, Microsoft announced a new set of tools that will make it possible for game developers to run competitive tournaments through Xbox Live. Called the "Xbox Live Tournaments Program," the new initiative is described by Jason Ronald, head of the Xbox Advanced Technology Group, as "easy to integrate tournaments" that will be powered by Xbox Live and can be customized by the developers depending on the game or tournament.
"Xbox Live is the connective tissue."
The service will be supported on both Xbox One and Windows 10, utilizing the Universal Windows Platform, which the company says will "enable a cohesive experience" across devices. "Xbox Live is the connective tissue between all of the devices in our ecosystem," Ronald said. As part of the announcement Microsoft also revealed that it is partnering with e-sports groups FaceIt and the Electronic Sports League, and the company says that the program will feature "deep integration" with both of these groups. More partnerships are expected to be added "soon." The news is part of a more recent push for Microsoft to expand into the world of e-sports; last year the company launched an ambitious Halo championship series.
A preview version of the "Xbox Live Tournaments Program" software development kit is available to game creators starting today. Microsoft says it expects to see the first supported titles launching later this year.
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