Microsoft Acquires Cloud Gaming Firm PlayFab

The Play Fab team

The PlayFab platform is a natural complement to Azure for gaming (Visit azure.com/gaming for more info).

"The cost and complexity of achieving this through custom-built, server-side tools and technologies is high", Choudhry notes, "PlayFab offers developers a compelling model that scales naturally with their games' players".

Microsoft is looking to improve their relationship with game developers as evident by their recent acquisition of PlayFab. "He also noted that Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella told shareholders in November that Microsoft is mobilizing to pursue its big opportunity in gaming market".

PlayFab's platform reduces the barriers many developers face when launching cloud-based games, serving up solutions that can grow as their games do.

Interestingly enough, the last time Microsoft broadened its approach to gaming in a large enough scale, it resulted in the Xbox One and the subsequent backlash over the many decisions taken over its online connectivity and Kinect.

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"This acquisition extends the investments and work we've done on Microsoft Azure to provide a world-class cloud platform for the gaming industry", Kareem Choudhry, Corporate Vice President, Gaming at in a blog post. This allows developers to build and operate games without their own intelligent cloud infrastructure as well as provides tools for monetization and analyzing gaming data.

Incorporating PlayFab's experience, growing network of game developers and powerful gaming-as-a-service platform into our product offering is an important step forward for gaming at Microsoft.

Gwertzman said PlayFab's platform now powers more than 1,200 live games for several major media brands, including Disney, NBC Universal, Wizards of the Coast, Nickelodeon and others.

On the other hand, the team of PlayFab expressed enticement in its blog as well: "Today we power more than 1,200 live games, and have served over 700 million players". Its technology is used by companies such as Disney, Rovio and Atari in projects such as Angry Birds: Seasons, Roller Coaster Tycoon Touch and Idle Miner Tycoon.

With speculation rife on Microsoft going on a spree to buy out companies to bolster its gaming efforts, we won't be surprised to see this being the first of many this year.

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