Microsoft announces Xbox Live Tournaments Program at GDC

Kareem Anderson

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The spicket of gaming news continues to flow following Microsoft’s privately held Xbox event on February 25, 2016. During the event, attendees were privy to news about the coalescence of Microsoft’s Windows 10 gaming ambitions and the future evolution of the Xbox One as a platform. Since the event, it seems the Xbox team has been making weekly announcements of new features coming to the Xbox One console or further plans for cross-platform gaming.

Today’s news coming out the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco adds a bit more clarity on how Microsoft is approaching gaming in 2016. As Microsoft continues to explore a more modern paradigm for gaming, the company is opening up its gaming service Xbox Live to host Xbox Live Tournaments.

According to a report from TheVerge:

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.”

More important, the new Xbox Live Tournaments Program will be supported on both the Xbox One console and Windows 10 devices through the Universal Windows Platform, further showcasing Microsoft’s vision for interconnected experiences across devices. TheVerge is also reporting that Microsoft is partnering with e-sports staples FaceIt and Electronic Sports League to solidify the initiative.

As Microsoft plans to have titles out for the new service by the end of this year, it is making software developer kits available to those interested today. We expect further details will be released via various Xbox and Microsoft channels soon.