| | 11-13-2013, 01:36 PM #1
This thread is about the #SaveXboxWP movement, how and why it got started, how it has evolved, and where it is now. Please read this original post below as well as the updates and, if you care about Xbox gaming on Windows Phone and Windows 8/RT, please participate via
- Twitter: calling out to Microsoft executives via Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and so forth and telling them we want our Xbox games on Windows Phone and Windows 8/RT. (You can click here to search directly for #SaveXboxWP tweets on Twitter);
- Uservoice: casting your votes for this suggestion on Uservoice, the official Microsoft community where Windows Phone users can offer suggestions for improving Windows Phone. There is also a similar Uservoice thread over in the Xbox arena that also calls for ID(at)Xbox to be extended, so please vote there too. Finally, although not technically a part of the #SaveXboxWP movement, for those gamers who loathe the WP8.1 change that has placed all games in the app list instead of the Games Hub, there is a Uservoice suggestion for that here.
- If you're new to Xbox gaming and want to know what some of the features are that we're trying to save, read the post below, this one and this one.
#SaveXboxWP Movement's Goals:
To increase the development of more Xbox games on Windows Phone and Windows 8/RT (hereafter, WP/W8) by
- encouraging Microsoft to revamp the counterproductive Xbox certification processes for WP/W8, so that it is easier for developers and publishers to develop, publish, and update Xbox games on WP/W8,
- including extending the ID@Xbox program, which enables indie developers to self-publish Xbox games on Xbox One, to WP/W8, so as to make it easier for them to make Xbox games,
- as well as encouraging third-party developers to support Xbox gaming on WP/W8 by releasing their games with Xbox integration.
Original Post (13 Nov 2013):
Like many of you, one of the coolest features that drew me to the Windows Phone and Surface realms was the ability to play Xbox-branded games on my phone and tablet. Microsoft had a slow start to the mobile market, meaning they've been trying to play catch-up to the more established app ecosystems of iOS and Android. We have fewer games, and the ones we do get come later. Sure, that wasn't ideal, but we had a trump card that made it all worth it: Xbox achievements. Whereas our naive friends on Android and iPhone were wasting their time playing boring, normal games, we were expanding our Gamerscore and enjoying the social aspects of Xbox Live gaming. It more than made up for the aforementioned deficiencies.
But, what launched with a lot of promise on Windows Phone 7 has slowly been dying in front of our eyes. Over the past year, we were initially confused by the slowdown in Xbox releases (Xbox games used to release weekly, but recently we're lucky to get one per month, and seemingly no more are coming), coupled with the abandonment of the platform by several publishers who made Xbox games for WP7: Sega, Namco Bandai, Konami, and Gamehouse. This slowdown in Xbox releases and abandonment by the aforementioned developers seemed counterintuitive, as we assumed that, with the steady growth of the platform we'd see a steady growth in our mobile Xbox libraries. That initial confusion was then replaced by concern as we saw Xbox titles getting delisted--some for good, some, like Doodle Jump and Chickens Can't Fly, being re-released without Xbox achievements. To throw salt in the wound Microsoft brought Xbox titles to iOS and Android, giving them Wordament, Kinectimals, and also announched Age of Empires (forthcoming) for their competitors' platforms. Microsoft is literally spending valuable time and resources to support other platforms rather than fix their own!
Back on Windows Phone, while losing Xbox titles from indie developers and other noteworthy publishers was disconcerting, we took solace in the fact that, at least we could count on the big publishers--like EA, Ubisoft, Miniclip, Rovio, and Gameloft--to continue pumping out high quality, big budget Xbox games on Windows Phone and Windows 8. Rumors in August suggested bigger studios were considering releasing future games without Xbox branding as well. Soon thereafter Rail Rush by Miniclip launched without Xbox branding, portending what occured today (13 November 2013): Gameloft launched Asphalt 8 on both Windows Phone and Windows 8/RT without Xbox achievements, confirming earlier rumors.
Is this the beginning of the end of Xbox games on Windows Phone and Windows 8/RT? It could be. Or, we can mobilize and let our voices be heard. Microsoft won't change anything if they don't hear from their passionate customers that this is not okay with us. So, let them have it. Email them, Facebook them, and Tweet them your opinion. Here is a list of Twitter accounts to get your started. Be sure to include the #SaveXboxWP hashtag to keep track of each other's tweets and retweet them.
LIST OF TWITTER ACCOUNTS
Publishers Who Still Support Xbox Games on Windows Phone
Microsoft / Xbox / Windows Phone Employees
@satyanadella (Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft Corporation)
@XboxP3 (Phil Spencer, Head of Xbox)
@KudoTsunoda (Head of Xbox in EMEA; creator of HoloLens and Kinect)
@majornelson (Larry Hryb, Director of Programming for Xbox LIVE)
@joebelfiore (Joe Belfiore, Corporate vice president and manager for Windows Phone Program Management)
@toddbrix (Todd Brix, General Manager of Windows Apps and Store Team)
@aarongreenberg (Microsoft Chief of Staff for Devices and Studios)
@yusuf_i_mehdi (Yusuf Mehdi, Chief Marketing & Strategy Officer for Xbox/Microsoft)
@BenThePCGuy (Microsoft evangelist; star of several Microsoft commercials)
@albertpenello (Albert Panello, Lead Planner for Xbox
Corporate Microsoft Accounts
@lumia (official account for Windows Phone)
@ID_Xbox (Independent Developers Publishing Program for Xbox One) [you can also email them at ID@Xbox.com]
@iocat (Chris Charla, Director of ID@Xbox at Microsoft)
@albertpenello (Albert Penello, Lead planner for Xbox One, Xbox 360, and Kinect)
Microsoft 1st-Party Studios
@pressplay_games (makers of Max and the Magic Marker, Tentacles: Enter the Mind)
@twisted_pixel (makers of 'Splosion Man)
Electronic Arts Accounts
@popcap (subsidiary of EA, maker of Plants vs. Zombies, Bejeweled, and Peggle)
@petermooreEA (Peter Moore, COO of EA Sports)
@imangi (makers of Temple Run)
@505_Games (makers of Terraria)
@Hyperdevbox (makers of ExZeus2)
Publishers Who Stopped Supporting Xbox Games on Windows Phone
Game Troopers Returned from the Dark Side!
@gametrooperswp (publishers of Tiny Troopers, Make it Rain, and Overkill 3)
Square Enix Accounts
@SQUARE_ENIX_EU (Square Enix Europe)
@SquareEnixMtl (Square Enix Montreal, developers of 'Go' titles)
@Yodo1Games (official publisher of Crossy Road on Windows)
@ustwogames (makers of Monument Valley)
@ThreesGame (makers of Threes!)
@2Kgames (makers of Civilization Revolution)
@mojang (makers of Minecraft)
@jeb_ (Jens Bergensten, lead designer and lead developer of Minecraft)
JoyBits Returned from the Dark Side!
Gameloft Accounts Returned from the Dark Side!
@OofitsRyan (Community Manager for Gameloft)
Rovio Accounts Returned from the Dark Side!
Namco Bandai Accounts
@namcogames (Namco Bandai, US
@NamcoBandaiUK (Namco Bandai, UK)
@NamcoBandaiES (Namco Bandai, Spain)
@NamcoBandaiAUS (Namco Bandai, Australia)
@KonamiUK (Konami, UK)
@KonamiBRA (Konami, Brasil)
@SEGA_OFFICIAL (Sega, Japan)
@SEGA_Apps (Sega Mobile, Japan)
@GameHouse (Game House)
@DChocGames (Digital Chocolate)
TIMELINE OF EVENTS
[Favorable events are in green; unfavorable events are in red]
UPDATE 1: On 2 December 2013 Gameloft released Dungeon Hunter 4 on Windows Phone and Windows 8/RT without Xbox achievements. That's their second consecutive non-Xbox game. We need to mobilize to reverse the trend. Microsoft and Gameloft won't fix the problem if they don't here from us, so let's step up our Twitter campaign to #SaveXboxWP.
UPDATE 2: On 4 December 2013 Sam wrote an article about the ID@Xbox program which enables and encourages indie game developers to publish their games more easily on Xbox One. This is a great program and it absolutely needs to be extended to Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8/RT. So, let's continue the #SaveXboxWP Twitter campaign by starting to ding the following relevant accounts (published above).
On 7 July 2014 Chris Charla, director of ID@Xbox favorited one of my #SaveXboxWP tweets
calling for the program to be extended to WP/W8!
UPDATE 3: On 10 December 2013 Paul announced that, Despicable Me: Minion Rush, the third consecutive Gameloft game on Windows Phone without Xbox integration, just launched. The outlook looks bleak based on Paul's comments in another thread, but I for one am not going down without a fight. Help me let Microsoft executives on Twitter know that they royally screwed this one up by not supporting Xbox on WP.
UPDATE 4: On 11 December 2013 Rovio launched Angry Birds Go! without Xbox integration. It is their first non-Xbox game on WP. They've joined Gameloft in abandoning the platform. I've added the relevant Twitter accounts to the list above. Start Tweeting Rovio along with Microsoft and Gameloft in the #SaveXboxWP Twitter crusade. Our hopes now lie with EA, Ubisoft, and Microsoft Studios as the only major publishers left who have yet to officially abandon Xbox on WP.
UPDATE 5: On 13 December 2013, EA ostensibly stripped Tetris Blitz of Xbox branding with an update, removing the Xbox banner from the game art in the Windows Phone store. By 18 December 2013, the Xbox banner was back up and Xbox achievements are still (and always were) in the game. So, the good news is that there is no evidence that EA has joined the dark side and given up Xbox support on Windows Phone games. Nevertheless, I've added EA's Twitter accounts to the collection above. Tweet them and tell them we appreciate their support of Xbox gaming on Windows Phone and are awaiting new titles from them.
UPDATE 6: On 15 December 2013, we finally have some promising news! Today Microsoft Studios VP Phil Spencer (@XboxP3) replied to a #SaveXboxWP tweet made by our comrade @phstratton. Here is Phil's reply: "You'll see new WP releases from us this year. Feel great about lineup of phones and 1st party will support". This is huge news because it means that the #SaveXboxWP movement has been acknowledged by a major Microsoft executive. Our hard work is paying off. Keep it up, everyone!
UPDATE 7: On 21 December 2013, Imangi Studios releases Temple Run 2 with Xbox integration! This is the first Xbox game on WP in nearly six weeks and only the fourth one since August, so there is a lot of work still to be done my fellow #SaveXboxWP comrades. Take this as an opportunity to thank @imangi and @TempleRun for bringing us an Xbox game and tell @gameloft and @rovio to take note of the excitement surrounding TR2's release.
UPDATE 8: On 23 December 2013, Ubisoft unexpectedly releases an Xbox-enabled game: Rabbids: Bing Bang! This is good news since Ubisoft was arguably the next biggest publisher after EA remaining who had not yet given up on Xbox for WP (unlike Gameloft, Rovio, and MiniClip). However, don't get complacent: there are still many great mobile Ubisoft games made for iOS and Android that they haven't brought to Windows Phone yet. So let's thank @Ubisoft and @UbisoftMobile for their support and tell them to keep the Xbox games coming. You can also chide them for never providing free trials with their games.
Mini Update: Ubisoft mobile has replied favorably to several #SaveXboxWP tweets that asked them to continue bringing more Xbox games to WP. One such reply said: "Have Faith!". Seems like we can still count on Ubisoft to support Xbox gaming on WP. So, go ahead and buy Rayman, Babel Rising 3D, and Bing Bang and tweet them to let them know you did so because they had Xbox integration.
UPDATE 9: On 24 December 2013, Gameloft released their fourth consecutive non-Xbox game for Windows Phone: Total Conquest. Tweet them and tell them that we're disappointed with their continued lack of support for Xbox gaming on Windows Phone. Tweet Microsoft executives too: it's their job to court developers.
UPDATE 10: On 27 December 2013, a whopping four Xbox games on Windows Phone were released. First, out of nowhere we got Final Fantasy III by SquareEnix. This is big as it means another major developer is still on board. Feel free to tweet them thanks: @SquareEnix. Second, Third, and Fourth, Microsoft Studios released three Xbox ports from Windows 8: Microsoft Mahjong, Microsoft Minesweeper, and Microsoft Solitaire Collection. In total, that's six Xbox games on WP released in the past week! Things are suddenly looking up for the #SaveXboxWP movement!
UPDATE 11: On 8 January 2014, Paul reported that two older Xbox on Windows Phone games by the developer Digital Chocolate were delisted. Digital Chocolate (@DChocGames) stopped supporting Xbox on Windows Phone years ago, so this news has little impact on future games coming from them; the problem is the fact that Xbox games are being delisted. This is not a good precedent as it means that those who have purchased these games cannot re-download them later on (because they're not in the store). This is not acceptable and Microsoft needs to know it. I'll be tweeting them my mind about it.
UPDATE 12: On 27 January 2014, Rockstar Games released Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas on Windows Phone without Xbox integration. This is a major blow to the struggling Xbox on WP platform, and Microsoft really dropped the ball by not ensuring that Rockstar released this game with Xbox achievements. Be sure to let Microsoft and Rockstar know it (@RockstarSupport @RockstarGames).
UPDATE 13: On 4 February 2014, MiniClip games released their second consecutive non-Xbox game on Windows Phone, Hot Rod Racers. It is not a good sign when a major developer who used to support Xbox gaming on Windows Phone no longer feels it's worthwhile to continue doing so. Tweet to Miniclip to tell them how important Xbox gaming on WP is to you, and also tweet to Microsoft to rebuke them for letting another developer slip away rather than revise the counterproductive Xbox certification process.
UPDATE 14: On 12 February 2014, Gameloft released their fifth consecutive non-Xbox game: World at Arms. Let's let both Microsoft and Gameloft know that this is a huge missed opportunity, and another slap in the face to Xbox gamers on Windows Phone.
UPDATE 15: On 28 February 2014, EA released Xbox-enabled FIFA 14! This is the sequel to FIFA 13 (also Xbox-enabled), and continues their uninterrupted support of Xbox gaming on Windows Phone. Be sure to head to Twitter and thank @EAMobile for their support. However, this is only their first Xbox game since Tetris Blitz launched in September 2013, and it's also the first Xbox game on Windows Phone in 2014 (as technically, Rayman Fiesta Run is still in soft launch), so let's continue to nag Microsoft about this problem too.
UPDATE 16: On 3 March 2014 Tom Warren of the Verge is reporting that Microsoft plans to make Xbox Live cross-platform, bringing games with Xbox Live features to enemy platforms (Android and iOS). If true, this means Xbox Live games will no longer be an exclusive feature of Windows Phone and Windows 8/RT. More on this as it develops.
UPDATE 17: On 6 March 2014 Microsoft studios ported over from Windows 8/RT the Xbox-enabled puzzle game, Throne Together! It's good to see that Microsoft Studios is continuing to bring Xbox games to both Windows Phone and Windows 8. However, this is only the second Xbox on WP game released in 2014 so far.
UPDATE 18: On 10 March 2014, Ubisoft--in line with the MiniUpdate above--has continued their support of Xbox gaming on Windows Phone, launching Rayman Fiesta Run with Xbox integration. While companies like Gameloft, Rovio, and Miniclip abandon Xbox gaming on Windows Phone, it's nice to have Ubisoft (along with EA, Microsoft Studios, and SquareEnix) continue to give us Xbox gamers some love. Be sure to tell @Ubisoft and @UbisoftMobile that you appreciate their support.
Mini Update: On 4 March 2014 Ubisoft Mobile favorited a #SaveXboxWP tweet asking them to "keep the Xbox games for Windows Phone coming", and another #SaveXboxWP tweet on 10 March 2014 saying a similar thing.
UPDATE 19: On 12 March 2014, Paul reported that Namco Bandai's Xbox-enabled WP game Galaga Legions DX has been delisted (meaning no one new can buy it and people that already have purchased it can't re-download it). This is the 4th Xbox game on WP to be delisted so far this year (Tiger Woods PGA Tour 12, Tower Bloxx New York, and 3D Brick Breaker Revolution were delisted in January). With only 3 Xbox games on WP released in 2014 so far, this is a net loss of -1 Xbox games on WP this year. That is not the way to grow a platform. Even more so, though, you should always have the ability to re-download games you already own. This is an absolutely unacceptable business practice.
UPDATE 20: On 28 March 2014, Microsoft Studios launched Xbox-enabled puzzle game Hexic on both Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8, with pause-and-play features across the two platforms. This is a follow-up to their other excellent puzzle game, Hexic Rush, also on Windows Phone. Be sure to thank Microsoft on Twitter, even though this is only the 4th Xbox game on WP released in 2014 so far.
UPDATE 21: On 14 April 2014, Previous supporter of Xbox gaming on WP Rovio released their second consecutive non-Xbox game on WP, Bad Piggies. Be sure to tell @Rovio and @AngryBirds "No Xbox, No Buy."
UPDATE 22: On 29 April 2014, Gameloft released their sixth-consecutive non-Xbox game for Windows Phone,Captain America: TWS. Let Gameloft know how much business they're missing out on by tweeting them.
UPDATE 23: On 6 May 2014, Microsoft Studios released Xbox-enabled pseudo-sequel to Wordament, Snap Attack. However, it was also announced the game would be coming to enemy platforms iOS and Android as well. Let Microsoft know they need to keep their IP exclusive to Windows Phone!
UPDATE 24: On 7 May 2014, Microsoft Studios released Xbox-enabled Kinectimals for Windows Phone (not to be confused with the previously released Xbox-enabled game of the same name for the same platform). Two Xbox games for WP from Microsoft in two days! Now if only they could get more third parties on board.
UPDATE 25: On 12 May 2014, Gameloft released their seventh-consecutive non-Xbox game for Windows Phone,Spider-Man 2. Let Gameloft know that their continued eschewal of Xbox gaming on WP will lead to our continued eschewal of purchasing their games.
UPDATE 26: On 12 June 2014, former Xbox on WP supporter Rovio released, Epic, an Angry Birds-inspired RPG that is also their third consecutive Windows Phone game without Xbox integration.
UPDATE 27: On 17 June 2014, Gameloft released their eighth-consecutive non-Xbox game for Windows Phone,GT Racing 2. Let Gameloft know on Twitter that they suck.
UPDATE 28: On 20 June 2014, Gameloft released their ninth-consecutive non-Xbox game for Windows Phone, Heroes of Order and Chaos. The game is the follow-up to the Xbox-enabled Order & Chaos, making it all the more insulting that Gameloft launched it without Xbox integration.
UPDATE 29: On 23 June 2014, Gameloft released their tenth-consecutive non-Xbox game for Windows Phone,My Little Pony. Ah, on second thought, Gameloft, you can keep that one.
UPDATE 30: On 30 June 2014, Microsoft Studios delisted one of my favorite Xbox games, Carcassonne. I'm effing furious.
UPDATE 31: On 30 June 2014, Gameloft released their eleventh-consecutive non-Xbox game for Windows Phone, Rival Knight .
UPDATE 32: On July 1 2014, Gameloft released their twelth-consecutive non-Xbox game for Windows Phone, Order and Chaos Duels Card .
UPDATE 33: On July 2 2014, Gameloft released their thirteenth-consecutive non-Xbox game for Windows Phone, Blitz Brigade . It's almost as if they're trying to rub salt into the wounds of every Xbox gamer on WP.
UPDATE 34: On 3 July 2014, Microsoft Studios delisted one of my favorite Xbox games on WP, Rocket Riot. Also delisted were it's Windows 8 counterpart, Rocket Riot 3D and it's accompanying DLC along with quite a few other Windows 8 games: Field & Stream Fishing, Glacier Blast, Gunpowder, Royal Envoy 2, The Harvest, and Zombies!. Not good, Microsoft, Not good.
The Microsoft Studios delistings continue
UPDATE 35: On 16 July 2014, Microsoft Studios finally gave us something to offset all their recent Xbox delistings: updated Xbox games for WP8 and WP8.1! Sam reported that over 40 Xbox WP games recently received updates to make them compatible with WP8 and 512MB RAM devices. While no doubt most of these games were already available to you, there are some that are 'new' to WP8 such as Glow Artisan, Fable Coin Golf, Hasta La Muerte, etc. However, I bought Glow Artisan and really enjoyed it but it does not save my game progress, so perhaps not all of these games are as optimized as they should be. Plus, the big three WP7 games that everyone wants on WP8--Tentacles, Orbital, and DoDonPachi--didn't make the list, which is a shame.
Mini Update: It seems that many of these games have now been pulled again, insinuating that they were not actually updated and were never meant to be republished in the store. Some of them legitimately did receive updates (e.g. Glow Artisan on 7/14/2014) but have bugs that make them unplayable.
UPDATE 36: On 17 July 2014, Gameloft released their fourteenth-consecutive non-Xbox game for Windows Phone, Dungeon Gems . In related news, this is the fourteenth-consecutive Gameloft game I have not purchased.
UPDATE 37: On July 24 2014, Gameloft released their fifteenth-consecutive non-Xbox game for Windows Phone, Modern Combat 5 , the sequel to Xbox-enabled Modern Combat 4.
UPDATE 38: On 7 August 2014, Ubisoft released their fifth Xbox game for Windows Phone, Hungry Shark Evolution . The game is free to download. Be sure to thank @UbisoftMobile for their Xbox support.
UPDATE 39: On 7 August 2014, Gameloft released their sixteenth-consecutive non-Xbox game for Windows Phone, Ice Age Adventures , the sequel to Xbox-enabled Ice Age Village.
UPDATE 40: On 13 August 2014, Ubisoft released their sixth Xbox game for Windows Phone, Assassin's Creed Pirates. Even more awesome is that the game is not plagued by 'freemium-itis'. It costs $4.49, which is much better than IAP-plagued gameplay. Be sure to thank @UbisoftMobile for their Xbox support.
UPDATE 41: On 20 August 2014, Microsoft Studios' first-party studio Press Play games released Xbox-enabled game Tentacles: Enter the Mind for both Windows Phone and Windows 8. It is the sequel to the excellent WP7 game, Tentacles: Enter the Dolphin. Be sure to thank Press Play for their great work and be sure to check out their other Windows Phone game, Max and the Magic Marker, and it's big brother on Xbox One and Xbox 360, Max: The Curse of Brotherhood, as well as their upcoming Xbox One game, Totem. All of their games are superb.
UPDATE 42: On 11 September 2014, Gameloft released their seventeenth-consecutive non-Xbox game for Windows Phone, Spider-Man Unlimited. Lucky for us there is a better--Xbox-enabled--version of Spider-Man in the Windows Phone store.
UPDATE 43: On 12 September 2014, making their Xbox on Windows Phone debut, 505 Games released 2D action-adventure survival sandbox game, Terraria ! As a new Xbox developer to Windows Phone I have added their Twitter accounts to the master list above. Be sure to buy the game and then tell @505_Games thanks for supporting mobile Xbox!
It seems that there is an unofficial Terraria Encyclopedia
app on Windows Phone for free that might help you master the game. Check it out!
UPDATE 44: On 17 September 2014, Microsoft Studios released Xbox-enabled game Age of Empires: Castle Siege for both Windows Phone and Windows 8. The first touch-control version of one of the most renowned RTS (real-time strategy) game franchises of all time, this game features cloud sync, pause-and-play compatibility between Windows Phone and Windows tablets and computers. This is the 5th Xbox game for WP released in the past 5 weeks!
UPDATE 45: On 22 September 2014, EA released Xbox-enabled game FIFA 15 Ultimate Team for both Windows Phone and Windows 8. It is the sequel to previous Xbox-enabled FIFA games on WP, FIFA 14 and FIFA 13, and marks EA's continued, uninterrupted support for Xbox gaming on WP (even though it's only their third release in the past 12 months, let's still be sure to thank them). This is the 6th Xbox game to release on WP in the past 6 weeks! #SaveXboxWP is working.
UPDATE 46: On 25 September 2014, Gameloft released their eighteenth-consecutive non-Xbox game for Windows Phone, Asphalt Overdrive . This is the second non-Xbox Asphalt game on WP, the first of which (Asphalt 8) started the #SaveXboxWP movement back in November 2013. Lucky for us, there are still two Xbox-enabled Asphalt games in the store, Asphalt 7 and Asphalt 5.
UPDATE 47: On 29 September 2014, Microsoft Studios released Xbox-enabled game Secrets and Treasure for Windows Phone. As is the trend with their recent releases, it cloud syncs with a Windows 8/RT version that was released earlier in 2014. This is a fun--and free--puzzle game akin to Peggle. This is also the 7th Xbox game on WP to be released in the past 7 weeks!
UPDATE 48: On 13 October 2014, Gameloft released their nineteenth-consecutive non-Xbox game for Windows Phone, Cars: Fast as Lightning .
UPDATE 49: On 11 November 2014, Ubisoft released Shape Up: Battle Run, a kind of fitness game and companion app to the Kinect-enabled fitness game, Shape Up, on Xbox One. However, the game is not Xbox branded on Windows Phone, which is the first Ubisoft game on Windows Phone not to be an Xbox game. Given the game's hybrid nature as a game/companion app, it's not clear how foreboding this is, but given that it pairs up with an exclusive Xbox One game, it would've made sense (to me) for this mobile version to be Xbox-certified as well.
UPDATE 50: On 12 November 2014, Rovio did the unimaginable: they updated the previously non-Xbox Windows Phone game, Bad Piggies (released on 14 April 2014 as the 2nd consecutive non-Xbox release from Rovio) with Xbox integration ! Even better, their two other non-Xbox games on WP, Angry Birds Epic and Angry Birds Go are popping up in the Xbox section of the Windows Phone app store, intimating that they too may get the green banner presently! This is a major victory for the #SaveXboxWP movement as it marks a turning point where a previously zealous supporter of Xbox gaming on WP abandoned ship and then realized that was a mistake and reverted back to the good side.
released Xbox-enabled game for Windows Phone
UPDATE 51: On 24 November 2014, Windows Central reported that a new development company, Game Troopers will begin porting games to WP/W8. Their first game will be Tiny Troopers and will have Xbox achievements! Be sure to thank @gametrooperswp and encourage them to bring more Xbox games to WP.
Mini Update: Game Troopers mobile has favorited a #SaveXboxWP tweet that asked them to continue bringing more Xbox games to WP.
UPDATE 52: On 26 November 2014, just over a year since they released their very first non-Xbox game on WP, Gameloft released their twentieth-consecutive non-Xbox game for Windows Phone, Pastry Paradise . The one plus side is that most of those 20 games are freemium crap, so by abandoning Xbox integration they've actually spared us from slugging through them.
UPDATE 53: On 3 December 2014, Sega released their first non-Xbox game on Windows Phone, Sonic Dash . Although it had been years since Sega supported mobile gaming on Windows Phone, all previous Sega games were fully Xbox-certified. The loss of another major publisher from Xbox mobile gaming, just after the recent splurge in Xbox-enabled WP games, really stings. Be sure to tell @SEGA how disappointing this is.
UPDATE 54: On 4 December 2014, Game Troopers made their WP publishing debut with the Xbox-enabled game, Tiny Troopers! This marks the second new third-party developer to release their first Xbox WP game this year (after 505 Games). Rumor has it that Game Troopers will continue to support Xbox gaming on WP in the future, so don't hesitate to send them a tweet of thanks: @gametrooperswp
Mini Update: Game Troopers mobile has again favorited a #SaveXboxWP tweet that asked them to continue bringing more Xbox games to WP.
UPDATE 55: On 10 December 2014, Microsoft Studios stuck a dagger in the hearts of mobile Xbox gamers by releasing their most anticipated game of all time for Windows Phone, Minecraft: Pocket Edition, without Xbox integration. This is the first Microsoft Studios game on WP to lack Xbox support. As painful and upsetting as this is, there is still hope that Microsoft will right the wrong and patch in Xbox support later on. The backstory behind this all can partially explain the lack of Xbox integration initially, as Microsoft didn't purchase Mojang--the creators of Minecraft--until September 2014, and the deal didn't finalize until November 2014, meaning that this game was in development for Windows Phone well before Mojang became a part of Mojang. In fact, Mojang's lead developers for Minecraft: Pocket Edition independently confirmed on Twitter months ago that Minecraft: Pocket Edition for WP has been in development for awhile. Eric Neustadter (@thevowel), the Operations Manager for Xbox Live, confirmed this when he promptly replied to a #SaveXboxWP tweet asking why Minecraft: Pocket Edition lacks Xbox Live integration by pointing out that this game was in development months ago but that Mojang only became a part of Microsoft Studios last month. (Alternatively, what this also means is that Mojang would've joined a growing trend of third-party developers who released games for Windows Phone without Xbox integration for, even before becoming a first-party development studio for Microsoft Studios, they could've released the game as an Xbox game on WP but clearly chose not to do so). As Mojang only officially became a part of Microsoft Studios last month, and as this game was already in development, it's likely that Microsoft Studios choose to get the game out to the marketplace as soon as possible, while fixing omissions later on (more evidence of this is that the game currently is only for WP8.1 devices and won't work with WP8.0). So, the hope is that they will patch in Xbox integration in a future update, but there is no guarantee of this, and, currently, we have no official word from Microsoft that this will happen. So, in the meantime, let's inundate them all with #SaveXboxWP tweets (see the list of Xbox executives above) asking for Minecraft: Pocket Edition for WP to become Xbox certified!
Mini Update: When asked via Twitter if Xbox integration will be patched in later on, Eric Neustadter (@thevowel), the Operations Manager for Xbox Live, said "I have no idea. Sorry."
UPDATE 56: On 11 December 2014, King made their publishing debut on Windows Phone, releasing their undeservedly popular game, Candy Crush Saga. However, as is the trend with recent third-party companies, the game launched without Xbox achievements, another huge missed opportunity for Microsoft to differentiate the Windows Phone platform.
Mini Update: In response to a #SaveXboxWP tweet that was itself a reply to their tweet advertising Candy Crush Saga's launch on WP, the official WP Twitter account (@lumia) replied saying "Thanks for your feedback."
UPDATE 57: On 12 December 2014, HyperDevBoX Japan released their first Xbox-enabled WPgame, ExZeus2, a 3D mech shooter game that is also Xbox-enabled on Windows 8/RT (but not as a universal app)! This marks the third new third-party developer to release their first Xbox WP game this year (after 505 Games and Game Troopers). This is especially promising because they had previously released a JRPG, Spectral Souls, without Xbox Live integration. Be sure to say thanks to @Hyperdevbox, and maybe ask them if they can update Spectral Souls with Xbox Live too!
UPDATE 58: On 12 December 2014, Microsoft Studios released Xbox-enabled game Microsoft Bingo for Windows Phone. The game cloud syncs with it's Xbox-enabled Windows 8/RT cousin of the same name, and fits into Microsoft's longstanding selection of Xbox-enabled casual parlor games, along with Microsoft Mahjong, Microsoft Minesweeper, and Microsoft Solitaire Collection.
UPDATE 59: On 12 December 2014, Paul broke some amazing news: Gameloft (yes, the Gameloft that started this entire movement, and whose name has always been inked in red in this thread until now) is coming back to the good side: they will be releasing new Xbox games for WP, updating older non-Xbox games so that they have Xbox integration, and so forth. This is, to put it calmly, a huge win for #SaveXboxWP. Thank you everyone. Your participating has paid off. But don't let up just yet. There is still so much more we can do to cajole Microsoft into leveraging Xbox on WP and W8. Keep up the good fight!
It has begun! On 15 December 2014, Gameloft upgraded World At Arms
to an Xbox game. This nullifies UPDATE 14
above. Furthermore, Gameloft also updated and re-launched Xbox title, Order & Chaos Online
. With these two added, that marks 6 new Xbox WP games in the past month!
UPDATE 60: On 16 December 2014, Rovio reaffirmed that they're back on the Xbox gravy train, releasing their second straight Xbox game after a slew of non-Xbox ones. Angry Birds Stella is the next release in a slew of Angry Birds games. Maybe Rovio will pull a Gameloft and start updating their past non-Xbox games with Xbox integration!
UPDATE 61: On 19 December 2014, Gameloft released Brothers in Arms 3: Sons of War, a game that doesn't have Xbox integration, at least yet. Some readers are reporting evidence it may get it in the future, such as listing Xbox Live in the requirements section, but as of right now, there isn't any.
UPDATE 62: On 22 December 2014, Gameloft reaffirmed their commitment to rejoining the Xbox Live supper club by updating Asphalt Overdrive with Xbox achievements, less than three months after it debuted! This nullifies UPDATE 46 above.
UPDATE 63: On 24 December 2014, Gameloft gave us quite the Christmas present, updating two previously non-Xbox games with Xbox integration: the endless runner Despicable Me: Minion Rush and the racing game, Asphalt 8. This nullifies UPDATE 3 (Minion Rush) and, even more significantly, the original post that started the #SaveXboxWP movement (Asphalt 8) above!
UPDATE 64: On 29 December 2014, Gameloft continued proving they are fully back on the Xbox gravy train, updating historical strategy game Total Conquest with Xbox Live integration. his nullifies UPDATE 9 above.
UPDATE 65: On 8 January 2015, Gameloft released Dragon Mania Legends, their second game since returning to Xbox development that doesn't have Xbox integration. No word on whether it will come later.
UPDATE 66: On 10 January 2015, MiniClip released their 3rd-consecutive non-Xbox Windows Phone game, Strawberry Shortcake: Berry Rush. This one really bites because Strawberry Shortcake is delicious.
UPDATE 67: On 22 January 2015, Gameloft released Puzzle Pets, their third game since returning to Xbox development that doesn't have Xbox integration. They really like playing with our emotions, apparently.
UPDATE 68: On 29 January 2015, 2K Games, the makers of the excellent but old Xbox on Windows Phone game, Civilization Revolution, finally released a new Windows Phone game, a spinoff of their upcoming Xbox console game, Evovle, titled Evolve: Hunters Quest. Unfortunately, the game is not Xbox-enabled, meaning @2Kgames has now officially joined the list of publishers who used to support Xbox gaming on Windows Phone but who now do not.
UPDATE 69: On 19 February 2015, Game Troopers released their 2nd consecutive Xbox-enabled Windows Phone game, Make it Rain . There is a Windows 8/RT version as well. Like their previous game, Tiny Troopers, it's free to download. Be sure to thank them at @gametrooperswp, especially since they've already got more Xbox WP games coming!
UPDATE 70: On 25 February 2015, Gameloft released Age of Sparta, their fourth straight non-Xbox game on WP since returning to Xbox development a few months ago. Not sure what's going on with them anymore.
UPDATE 71: Huge news today, 4 March 2015, as head of Xbox, Phil Spencer, announced at the Game Developers Conference (GDC) that the ID@Xbox program is coming to Windows 10--PCs, tablets, and phones! This was one of the major goals of the #SaveXboxWP movement and it will mean a lot more mobile Xbox games. We've been pinging Microsoft about it since 13 November 2013, but we haven't heard anything since 7 July 2014 when Chris Charla, director of ID@Xbox favorited one of my #SaveXboxWP tweets calling for the program to be extended to WP/W8, and now that is coming true with Windows 10! Great job, everyone. Thank you for supporting #SaveXboxWP.
On 17 April 2014, Jez Corden interviewed
ID@Xbox chief, Chris Charla, about the future of Xbox gaming on Windows 10 devices (including phones. Mr. Charla has previously favorite #SaveXboxWP tweets, and his comments in the article above indicate that we were on to something long before it was announced!
UPDATE 72: On 13 March 2015, Gameloft released Dungeon Hunter 5, their fifth straight non-Xbox game on WP since returning to Xbox development a few months ago. Their individual development teams seem to have the ability to choose for themselves whether to implement Xbox Live or not, and it seems many still are choosing to eschew it.
UPDATE 73: On 25 March 2015, Jez reported that Game Troopers has seen great success so far with their mission of porting games to Windows Phone with Xbox integration, noting that they have announced several new games coming and are expanding their staff, hiring new developers to continue working on bringing Xbox games to WP. This is a great example of how other developers who have recently eschewed Xbox gaming on Windows Phone likely made a poor decision.
UPDATE 74: On 16 April 2015, Microsoft Studios finally released Halo: Spartan Strike, the sequel to Halo: Spartan Assault, on Windows 8/RT and Windows Phone as a universal app with Xbox integration, after a five-month delay. That's the semi-good news. The bad news is that both games have also released now on iOS, meaning that the exclusivity of Halo to Microsoft platforms, after nearly a decade and a half, has now officially ended. This historic blunder is inexcusable and illogical, and Satya Nadella (@satyanadella) and Phil Spencer (@XboxP3) rightfully need to be called out for it. Please take to Twitter and tell them what you think about taking Microsoft's most valuable franchise from exclusive to multi-platform, thereby undermining both Xbox and Windows Phone in one foolish move.
UPDATE 75: On 23 April 2015, ZeptoLab released their first non-Xbox game on Windows Phone, Cut the Rope 2, the sequel to Xbox WP games, Cut the Rope and Cut the Rope Exp. This is a big disappointment as it marks another third-party publisher who previously supported Xbox WP gaming who has now abandoned it. Be sure to let @ZeptoLab and @Cut_The_Rope know you're frustration.
UPDATE 76: On 27 April 2015, Game Troopers released third-person shooter Overkill 3, their third straight Xbox game for Windows Phone. Be sure to thank @gametrooperswp for their support of #SaveXboxWP!
UPDATE 77: On 27 April 2015, consistent, but sporadic, supporter of Xbox gaming on WP, Square Enix, released their fifth straight Xbox title, Hitman G0. This is the second Xbox WP game to launch today! Thank @SquareEnix on Twitter via #SaveXboxWP and pick up some of their other Xbox Titles too (Final Fantasy, Final Fantasy 3, Chaos Rings, and Koozac).
UPDATE 78: On 27 April 2015, Sirvo LLC finally brought their popular puzzle game, Threes!, to Windows Phone, but, despite being an Xbox One game, it has no such Xbox Live integration on Windows Phone. This is a huge missed opportunity for Microsoft, Windows Phone, and Sirvo LLC. Very disappointing that Microsoft cannot even get developers who have already published on Xbox One to re-publish the same game with Xbox integration on Windows Phone. Let @ThreesGame know you want Xbox integration patched in.
UPDATE 79: On 30 April 2015, Gameloft released their sixth straight non-Xbox game for Windows Phone since returning to Xbox development on Windows Phone. This game, Battle Odyssey, is another freemium puzzle game.
UPDATE 80: On 30 April 2015, ustwo brought their acclaimed mobile game, Monument Valley, to Windows Phone, unfortunately, without Xbox Live integration. As is the case with King's Candy Crush Saga and Sirvo's Threes, this is another huge missed opportunity by Microsoft to have a famous mobile game from iOS and Android come to Windows Phone more than a year later but without extra, definitive features like Xbox achievements. Be sure to let @ustwogames know that you'd like them to patch in Xbox achievements.
UPDATE 81: On 1 May 2015, the popular Frogger-knock off, Crossy Road, originally from Hipster Whale, made its official debut on Windows Phone and Windows 8/RT via Yodo1 Games. Unfortunately, it launched without Xbox integration, making it another huge missed opportunity by Microsoft to compensate for the long delay between games' original launches on other platforms by using Xbox integration to make it the definitive version of the game. Be sure to ping @Yodo1Games and @CrossyRoad on Twitter to ask them to patch in Xbox integration.
UPDATE 82: On 14 May 2015, Paul reported that Gameloft will be updating several of their Windows Phone games with Xbox Live integration, which is good news since they have since released six straight non-Xbox games on WP since returning to Xbox WP development.
UPDATE 83: On 20 May 2015, John reported that Microsoft will release Age of Empires: Castle Siege on enemy platform iOS, thereby ending it's Windows exclusivity. Even more damning, though, is that they're releasing it with Xbox integration, a myopic move that undermines Windows Phone and the Xbox brand. If I were in charge of Microsoft, someone would've just gotten fired.
UPDATE 84: On 20 May 2015, Gameloft released puzzle game Ice Age Avalanche for Windows Phone but without Xbox integration. This is their seventh straight non-Xbox game for Windows Phone since returning to Xbox development on Windows Phone.
UPDATE 85: On 20 May 2015, MiniClip released their fourth-straight non-Xbox game for Windows Phone, Beast Quest. Instead, I'd recommend trying out some of their Xbox games instead: Gravity Guy, Fragger, Monster Island, etc.
UPDATE 86: On 25 May 2015, suddenly more consistent supporter of Xbox gaming on WP, Square Enix, released an Xbox-enabled endless runner featuring Lara Croft of Tomb Raider fame, Lara Croft: Relic Run. The game is free to download, so be sure to check it out if you liked Temple Run 2.
UPDATE 87: On 25 May 2015, bastions of mobile Xbox gaming, Game Troopers, released their fourth Xbox-enabled WP game, Monster Go! This side-scrolling endless runner is free and is also coming to Windows 8.1. It's also a timed exclusive, not yet available on other mobile operating systems.
UPDATE 88: On 3 June 2015, bastions of mobile Xbox gaming, Game Troopers, released their fifth Xbox-enabled WP game, What in the World?. They also confirmed that long-ago announced Abyss is still in development and coming soon!
UPDATE 89: On 17 June 2015, bastions of mobile Xbox gaming, Game Troopers, released their sixth Xbox-enabled WP game, the innovative puzzle game Lines. Be sure to check it out, along with all their other great mobile Xbox games!
UPDATE 90: On 19 June 2015, Gameloft updated previously non-Xbox gameDragon Mania Legends with Xbox achievements! This nullifies UPDATE 65 above.
UPDATE 91: On 24 June 2015, Gameloft updated previously non-Xbox gameDungeon Hunter 5 with Xbox achievements! This nullifies UPDATE 72 above.
UPDATE 92: On 24 June 2015, dampening the good news above, Gameloft released fantasy raiding game Siegefall for Windows Phone but without Xbox integration. This is their eighth total non-Xbox game for Windows Phone since returning to Xbox development on Windows Phone; however, the pace at which they have been updating non-Xbox games with Xbox integration is seemingly quickening.
UPDATE 93: On 30 June 2015, Gameloft updated two previously non-Xbox game Modern Combat 5 and Age of Sparta with Xbox achievements! This nullifies UPDATE 37 and UPDATE 70 above. Both titles are free to play.
UPDATE 94: On 10 July 2015, ardent supporters of mobile Xbox gaming, Game Troopers, released their seventh Xbox-enabled WP game, the sequel to one of their most popular games,Tiny Troopers 2. Be sure to thank them on Twitter (@gametrooperswp)!
UPDATE 95: On 28 July 2015, our favorite developers, Game Troopers, released their eighth Xbox-enabled WP game: Abyss. Even better: Game Troopers on Twitter confirmed that this will be a universal purchase when the Windows 8 version launches later on, so don't hesitate to buy it now on Windows Phone: you'll get both later.
UPDATE 96: On 4 August 2015, the greatest mobile Xbox game developers ever created, Game Troopers, released their ninth Xbox-enabled WP game: Twins. The game is free with the option to pay to remove ads.
UPDATE 97: On 13 August 2015, finally breaking up the sea of green brought forth above, Gameloft released Middle Ages battle game March of Empires for Windows Phone but without Xbox integration. This is their ninth total non-Xbox game for Windows Phone since returning to Xbox development on Windows Phone.
UPDATE 98: On 27 August 2015, Xbox gaming on Windows Phone was dealt a low blow as Square Enix released their first non-Xbox game on Windows Phone, Lara Croft Go . This is all the more surprising and upsetting since this game is spiritually related to the excellent, Xbox-enabled, and recently released, Hitman Go. Be sure to let @SquareEnix @SquareEnixMtl and @laracroft know you want Xbox support in their titles.
UPDATE 99: On 27 August 2015, Gameloft released their 10th non-Xbox game for Windows Phone since returning to Xbox development on Windows Phone, Spider-Man: Ultimate Power.
UPDATE 100: On 1 September 2015, Game Troopers, a.k.a. the best thing to happen to Windows Phone since Cortana, released their tenth Xbox-enabled WP game via a surprise launch of Imperia Online. The title is free to download and is available for 512MB devices too, so there is no reason not to check it out and support our favorite WP publishers.
UPDATE 101: On 4 September 2015, mobile Xbox gaming got a nice surprise when JoyBits, makers of Doodle God games, returned to Xbox development, upgrading Doodle God Blitz with Xbox integration. Be sure to thank them at @Doodle_God for their support. Check out game for free at the link above.
UPDATE 102: On 17 September 2015, Gameloft released their 11th non-Xbox game for Windows Phone since returning to Xbox development on Windows Phone, Order & Chaos 2. I'd recommend picking up the prequel, Order & Chaos, instead, as it has Xbox integration.
UPDATE 103: On 22 September 2015, the #SaveXboxWP world imploded as previous bastions of mobile gaming, Game Troopers, after spoiling us Windows Phone gamers with 10 mobile Xbox games in the past 10 months, suddenly released their first non-Xbox game: The Last Door. I don't know what to say, as I'm still sort of shell-shocked by this one. I had thought Game Troopers was doing well because they had smartly targeted the pent-up demand for mobile Xbox gaming on Windows Phone, but their oddly non-committal reply to inquiries on Twitter that they "might add them in the future" seems ominous more than it seems hopeful or reassuring. As always, you can contact @gametrooperswp and let them know your thoughts.
UPDATE 104: On 9 October 2015, righting all that became wrong in the mobile gaming universe, after last month's shell-shocker of Game Troopers releasing their first ever non-Xbox game, Game Troopers is the Prodigal Son returned, releasing the Xbox-enabled game, Briquid Mini, their 11th total Xbox game. The game costs $2.99. If you like Game Troopers and like Xbox games, reward them by buying it, and give them a shoutout at @gametrooperswp to show your appreciation.
UPDATE 105: On 21 October 2015, Game Troopers is back on an Xbox streak, releasing the Xbox-enabled free puzzle game, Runemals, their 12th total Xbox game for Windows Phone. Give Game Troopers a hefty shoutout at @gametrooperswp.
UPDATE 106: On 22 October 2015, Gameloft released their 12th non-Xbox game for Windows Phone since returning to Xbox development on Windows Phone, Trivial Pursuit & Friends. I'd recommend picking up Uno & Friends instead, as it has Xbox integration.
UPDATE 107: On 29 October 2015, Game Troopers extended their Xbox streak, releasing the Xbox-enabled parking simuator game, Trucking 3D, their 13th total Xbox game for Windows Phone. Give Game Troopers a big thanks at @gametrooperswp.
UPDATE 108: On 6 November 2015, Game Troopers did the unthinkable again, releasing their second total non-Xbox game on Windows Phone, free-to-play puzzle game, FusionDot. That makes 2 non-Xbox WP games to 13 games with Xbox integration, so that's good, but this new trend of them releasing non-Xbox games too has me a bit worried.
UPDATE 109: On 12 November 2015, Game Troopers released their third total non-Xbox game on WP, Momonga. The world of mobile Xbox gaming is looking precarious.