Microsoft to give developers a helping hand with cloud-connected games

An image of Microsoft HQ

Microsoft has bought gaming startup PlayFab, which is a platform for developers to build, launch and grow their cloud-based games.

PlayFab’s platform reduces the barriers many developers face when launching cloud-based games, serving up solutions that can grow as their games do. Importantly, it doesn’t just help developers bring games to market, but also helps them engage with and retain players in the long run.

To date, the platform has been behind a number of successful games, including Angry Birds Seasons and Bad Piggies. 

Although no details have yet been released about how the acquisition will affect the day-to-day running of PlayFab, in the official announcement on the Microsoft Blog, Kareem Choudhry, Corporate Vice President of Gaming at Microsoft, says the acquisition is part of the company’s ongoing investment to bolster Microsoft Azure and create a solid, cloud-based platform for the gaming industry. 

Choudhry notes that more than one billion people are playing games, and that increasingly the industry is moving its efforts to the cloud – but that while this makes sense for security and access to gamers, it isn’t all smooth sailing.

“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.”

Becca Caddy

Becca is a contributor to TechRadar, a freelance journalist and author. She’s been writing about consumer tech and popular science for more than ten years, covering all kinds of topics, including why robots have eyes and whether we’ll experience the overview effect one day. She’s particularly interested in VR/AR, wearables, digital health, space tech and chatting to experts and academics about the future. She’s contributed to TechRadar, T3, Wired, New Scientist, The Guardian, Inverse and many more. Her first book, Screen Time, came out in January 2021 with Bonnier Books. She loves science-fiction, brutalist architecture, and spending too much time floating through space in virtual reality.