Skulls of the Shogun to feature cross-platform play

First Xbox 360 game with asynchronous multiplayer.

Upcoming turn-based strategy title Skulls of the Shogun will feature cross-platform play across Xbox 360, Windows 8 PCs, Windows Phone and Windows 8 tablets like the Surface, developer 17-Bit - formerly Haunted Temple Studios - has announced.

This feature enables people to play the up to four-person game together, even if they have different devices. It also allows players to start playing on one system then resume their status elsewhere on another.

"Everyone's connected via Xbox Live. And regardless of platform, everyone's having the same great experience, because it's the exact same game across all those devices," said 17-Bit CEO Jake Kazdal.

The only downside is that in order to share cloud saves between different platforms, you'll need to buy the title on both systems.

We asked Kazdal if he thought it was realistic for people to do this. He replied, "We have long hoped we would be able to bundle them together but have not been able to drive it through on our own. I think that being one of the first Microsoft-published titles on a new Microsoft platform should be exciting and give us a real opportunity to stand out, and cross-platform play will soon become standard, glad we could be one of the first!"

He also explained that pricing is up to Microsoft, but he suspected the mobile versions would be cheaper.

Skulls of the Shogun is also the first Xbox 360 title to feature asynchronous multiplayer, meaning players can juggle multiple games independently of one another and receive notifications when it's their turn - a feature that will carry across all platforms. Kazdal noted that this system now supports up to ten games at a time, "but we think we will be able to expand it further."

Will Porter checked out Skulls of the Shogun back in 2010 at Eurogamer Expo. "It's a charmingly free-form affair, not limited by some boring grid beneath the battlefield, yet there's a deep vein of tactical thought that runs beneath its easy-access veneer," he wrote. "Best of all, however, is that it has magical foxes. What's not to like?"

No release date has been formally announced, but publisher Microsoft Studios is launching it simultaneously on Xbox 360, PC and Windows Phone this Autumn.

When asked if it would be a launch title for Windows Phone 8, Kazdal replied, "As close as it can be, still not finished but getting very close!"

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Jeffrey Matulef

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