Over the years we have heard reports Microsoft would be willing to sell its Xbox division. That, of course, never happened and more than ever the company is taking gaming seriously. From the beam acquisition to Xbox One X, gaming at Microsoft is bleeding into the company's other aspirations. This week Microsoft acquired PlayFab, a latest move towards cloud gaming.
PlayFab is a cloud-based company that provides game management and analytics solutions. Among its services are virtual currency tracking, leaderboards, authentication, commerce, and more.
The acquisition highlights Microsoft continuing push in gaming and its cloud first ethos. Intelligent cloud and the gaming industry are moving closer together and Microsoft wants to be a part. PlayFab is a startup from Seattle that will give Microsoft more tools to manage and launch games that have cloud-enabled abilities.
Terms of the financial agreement were not revealed by either company. However, PlayFab said it will not be able to expand its reach across Microsoft's cloud services:
“Microsoft, with its deep expertise in gaming and cloud computing, is a perfect home for PlayFab as we expand our platform and features,” stated CEO and co-founder James Gwertzman. “Our customers are worldwide, and Microsoft's global presence and world-class Microsoft Azure server infrastructure complement PlayFab's services, making it even easier for studios to focus on building great games instead of back end technology.”
PlayFab is already used by 700 million users across 1,200 games. It manages 1.5 billion transactions per day and includes gaming giants Bandai Namco, Capcom, and Disney among its customers.
“PlayFab's backend services reduce the barriers to launch for game developers, offering both large and small studios cost-effective development solutions that scale with their games and help them engage, retain and monetize players,” says Kareem Choudhry, corporate vice president of Gaming at Microsoft. “PlayFab enables developers to use the intelligent cloud to build and operate games, analyze gaming data and improve overall gaming experiences.”