New Microsoft acquisition could boost Azure gaming platform

Avatar By Joseph Scalise | 3 years ago

In a new move into online gaming, Microsoft has acquired the company PlayFab, a platform that enables developers to quickly and easily launch their titles online.

Microsoft has long been interested in online gaming, and the recent acquisition is their latest attempt into the medium. In order to make full use of the startup, Microsoft plans to integrate it directly into the Azure gaming group. While terms of the new deal have not been publicly disclosed, PlayFab raised roughly $13 million from investors.

“Together, Azure and PlayFab will further unlock the power of the intelligent cloud for the gaming industry, enabling game developers and delighting gamers around the world,” said Kareem Choudhry, Microsoft’s corporate VP of gaming, in a blog post.

Microsoft took in PlayFab because it offers game developers a platform to host and operate online games. In addition, it also provides analytic tools to help understand and monetize users.

The startup helps game developers cut down on the work needed to launch titles because it comes with infrastructure that is able to handle a global player base. Those capabilities are particularly attractive to indie companies, but PlayFab has also worked with much larger customers, including Disney, NBCUniversal, Rovio, and Capcom.

Currently, the startup hosts 1,200 “live games,” and it is reportedly processing more than 1.5 billion transactions a day. This represents a shift to digital services and reveals great potential for the platform. 

Many tech giants have figured out that there is much more to gaming than the mobile market. Over the past few years, a range of backbone technologies that enable game development and monetization have received a wide amount of attention. Microsoft has been more in tune with this than most, and this new move is another jump into that space, Tech Crunch reports. They hope that it will bring new life to Azure and give them the widespread reach they want to achieve.