Microsoft ditches Live branding for Windows Phone games

Earlier this week, Microsoft confirmed that it would rebrand its Windows Phone Marketplace download store to just Windows Phone Store. Now it looks like that rebranding effort is extending to the mobile games that are published in the Windows Phone Store as well.

As reported by, both new and older Windows Phone based games are getting a new umbrella label in their digital cover artwork. Previously, Microsoft was branding games made for Windows Phone devices with the "Xbox Live for Windows Phone" title. Now, the store is publishing them under the simpler "Xbox Windows Phone" brand.

It's yet another change in branding for Microsoft's lineup of products that gets rid of the "Live" label. Earlier this year, Microsoft announced that the Windows Live brand would soon be no more for its collection of cloud-based online services such as SkyDrive, replacing them with Microsoft accounts. At the time, Microsoft said that the Windows Live brand was causing confusion among its customers.

It does make one wonder if Microsoft will also ditch the "Xbox Live" brand for its online gaming services at some point. We have contacted Microsoft to see if they will comment about such a plan.

Update: In a statement, a Microsoft spokesperson told Neowin, 'Xbox LIVE continues to be our service for Xbox. Xbox is the all-up entertainment brand that includes the console, the service and the extension to other devices."

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Figure 8 Dash said,
So how long before Microsoft drops Xbox "Live?"

I think they're doing this to make a clear distiction that Xbox LIVE is the online service part of Xbox while these are Xbox for Windows Phone games. We'll also see Xbox for Windows games listed in the windows 8 store to, so this just follows that.

Next year when they finally talk about the next console I bet we'll see Xbox "new name" as well using the same labeling.

Figure 8 Dash said,
So how long before Microsoft drops Xbox "Live?"

It probably won't. Microsoft tried to expand the successful branding of Xbox Live to unrelated markets and it failed; in the primary market it is still a huge success.

However, if Microsoft were to rebrand it then that would likely occur with the release of their next-gen console, late 2013.