The 2016 Game Developers Conference has concluded and during the conference, Microsoft made several big announcements. The company plans on evolving their Xbox product to coincide with the ever-growing eSports industry. Microsoft is now planning a cross-platform to be titled Xbox Live Tournament Platform and has started new relationships with the Electronics Sports League and FaceIt.
The first part of the changes by Microsoft will see the cross-platform take place. Jeremy Dunham, a VP of Psyonix Studios, has been pushing to see cross-platform play for his gaming title, the Rocket League. Dunham has now announced that his game will be the first to experience cross-network game play.
According to the Microsoft Independent Developers for Xbox program Director, Chris Charla, the cross-network play will first begin with Xbox One and PC users. It was also hinted that the invitation was open to other networks to become involved during the announcement at the Game Developers Conference.
Dunham is also excited that Sony may get in on the action with his game Rocket League. Currently PC, Xbox and Playstation versions of games are separate but with the cross-platform option, the networks would be able to come together and players would be able to see who truly the best of the best at a specific games is.
Microsoft also announced they have created a deal with the Electronic Sports Leage and FaceIT. These deals were made to help improve the competitive gaming aspect of Microsoft and their component of eSports. An in-house tournament system will be created by Xbox and will be titled the Xbox Live Tournament platform. The platform will integrate the system of Electronic Sports League and game developers as well as publishers will be able to offer tournaments on Xbox Live and PC while also using the dynamic of ESL.
The new platform will be powered by Xbox Live and will provide a single integration to help support multiple tournament operators. The first titles for the new platform are expected to launch later on this year. Developers of games will be able to expose their game to more people by offering the option via the Xbox Live multiplayer network. Microsoft is hoping the new platform as well as partnerships in the eSports industry will create small scale tournaments that are homegrown as well as large scale professional tournaments.