Microsoft has acquired PlayFab game cloud services in order to improve gaming development. PlayFab is a backend platform focused on building and launching online cloud-connected games and it currently powers more than 1300 games for SEGA, Disney, Atari, Universal and Capcom among other producers.
Microsoft Azure employs PlayFab in order to provide gamers with a world-class platform across several platforms including mobile, PC and consoles, extending the investments made by the company. This could also present an opportunity to startup game developers with cloud-based tools, although terms haven’t been fully disclosed yet.
This acquisition came to happen as Microsoft seeks to pick up the pace on market leaders Amazon Web Services (AWS), who were the first to offer tools for game developers back in 2016. This made them industry pioneers with a new vision for game making.
How does PlayFab fit into Microsoft’s cloud plans?
PlayFab has stated several times, basically as a motto, that their everlasting ongoing mission consists of improving the way in which modern games are built and operated, and Microsoft being a more elite developer could be the perfect boost for PlayFab’s purposes.
The cloud-based company also provides a surprising player tracking and authentication system, keeping tabs on players across multiple devices. This has been a characteristic of Microsoft online gaming since it’s been well known that many players hack through the security systems.
One of the tracking systems includes PlayFab access to Game Center, Google, Steam and even Android ID accounts.
Also, the service favors management and storage data for the players and, since it’s a cloud data service, the player’s data is never lost. It allows for players to share across multiple devices and other player accounts too. Finally, it modifies the Game Manager feature, providing commodities like choosing a “level of game client access”.
PlayFabs services feature content management, A/B testing, and documentation.
Incorporating PlayFab could be seen as a step forward for Microsoft Azure to make it a more global and accessible platform for game developers which could boost Microsoft to be one of the firsts in this area.
Microsoft Azure going forward
Microsoft Azure functions as Microsoft’s cloud computing service testing, managing building and deploying applications for Microsoft’s global data services. It employs its own machine learning function (Azure ML) and is part of The Cortana intelligence suite.
Its new acquisition of PlayFab will expand its services from management, media services, and content delivery network to game development platform.