Microsoft has acquired PlayFab, a game dev startup that handles cloud connection-related work for developers, freeing them up to focus on the games themselves.
Though the precise details of the deal have yet to be disclosed, Microsoft will integrate PlayFab’s tools into its Azure cloud service. The latter’s technology is already the force powering such popular titles as Angry Birds: Seasons and Roller Coaster Tycoon Touch; in total, PlayFab provides cloud solutions for over 1,200 games across multiple platforms.
“Over 1 billion people play games, fuelling a thriving industry whose ecosystem is evolving and growing quickly,” said Kareem Choudhry, Microsoft’s VP of gaming, in a Microsoft blog post. “Many industries are moving to the intelligent cloud, and this trend is true in gaming as well. This means an increasing number of developers are looking to create connected games for mobile, PC and console devices that have a significant emphasis on post-launch operations. However, the cost and complexity of achieving this through custom-built, server-side tools and technologies is high, and PlayFab offers developers a compelling model that scales naturally with their games’ players.”
According to PlayFab CEO James Gwertzman, this notion of scaling the platform to fit a game’s player base will greatly assist in the cultivation and retention of a game’s audience. Gwertzman wrote in a blog post that the company’s model allows devs to “progress from shipping static software to creating games that scale gracefully and evolve over time with new content, live events, and frequent updates.”
PlayFab also speaks of their platform’s ability to easily add monetization elements to games, stating that they “process more than 1.5 billion transactions a day, nearly 20,000 transactions a second.” Could this potentially point to more Microsoft-published titled games integrating microtransactions or monetization elements moving forward?
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