Will Xbox Tournament Toolkit Win Over eSports Developers?
The rise of the eSports audience means Xbox have a new target for their charm offensive towards gamers. They’ve been pretty busy doing sterling work serious gamers crowd since their wallet got hit back in 2013 – backwards compatibility being their current piece de resistance – but now they’re aiming to attract eSports developers, unveiling their Xbox Live Tournaments Platform.
Xbox has always had a presence on the eSports circuit, with appearances at Halo and Call of Duty competitions, but now they want more of that pie. Like, all of it, preferably. There’s good reason for that decision – eSports is starting to grow in a serious way, with big bucks backing it and the lure of prestige and celebrity for the winners.
During today’s Game Developers Conference in Frisco, Jason Ronald, Xbox Product Manager, announced their intention to make life even easier for game makers.
The Tournament toolkit is designed so developers can effortlessly incorporate an eSports angle into their game. Running tournaments through the kit means it’s apparently far more manageable for both devs and the players, who will be able to check out a calendar of upcoming events, signing up for the ones they dig. Couple that with the release of the Xbox Elite controller, and you start to see a trend.
According to Ronald:
Esports is not a new trend. It’s not a new fad. It’s very clearly here to stay. If you’re a developer that’s already used to running your own tournaments, you can run your own tournaments. Everything from small, community-driven events up to large-scale pro events.
The toolkit works like an umbrella app, which lets the dev integrate a single SDK that supports third-party gaming hubs like eSports organisers ESL and Faceit. Anything that increases eSports’ popularity, visibility and accessibility is good for both Xbox and any organisers who relish seeing gaming taken more seriously after decades of snobbery. After all, you’re talking about a market that this year is forecast to be worth more than £300 million.
Faceit’s Chief Executive fluttered his lashes as he said:
The launch of the Xbox Live Tournaments Platform is a monumental moment for the future of competitive gaming and the growth of eSports. With the new Xbox Live Tournaments Platform, Microsoft is embracing eSports and enabling gamers to experience the fun and excitement that competitive gaming has to offer.
Xbox are hoping the Xbox Live Tournaments Platform will bring them victory after the crushing defeat of losing the lucrative and popular Call of Duty to the competition. Expect to see the first official results later this year, when the new platform once it leaves its preview stage.
And if you’re up for it, we’re running our Halo trials today, March 17th, between 6-9pm. Check out the details from our Jeff right here.