Microsoft is unveiling a new gaming cloud division that will focus on getting partners to use the company's Azure cloud-computing services to run their internet-based games and features.
During the past years, Microsoft has been acquiring gaming-related companies, including Havok, Simplygon and PlayFab - a Seattle-based maker of cloud-gaming services. The company has been also reshuffling its gaming teams as it prepares to launch its own cloud gaming services. Microsoft's new gaming cloud division is headed up by Kareem Choudhry, a 20-year Microsoft veteran that has worked on Outlook, DirectX, and Xbox engineering. His group will be tasked with helping other game developers and and publishers use Microsoft's cloud products and creating new services for the industry.
Currently, game developers and publishers are delivering titles and additional content via web download and subscription, instead of selling games off the shelf. Microsoft sees the opportunity to sell these companies on cloud services from Azure, Xbox chief Phil Spencer said.
"We already have deep relationships with most of the big players in the gaming industry," Spencer said. "They trust us."
Ubisoft Entertainment SA already uses Azure for Rainbow Six: Siege shooting game. South Korean video-game maker Pearl Abyss also uses Azure virtual machines and databases for mobile game Black Desert.
Microsoft's is looking to stream content to anyone no matter what device they're on.
However, the success is not guaranteed. The company should create a business model that will be attractive to third parties.
Sony acquired streaming games service OnLive only to shut it down. The Japanese company discontinued game streaming to the PlayStation 3, PS Vista, PlayStation TV, and smart TVs and Blu-ray players last year, deciding to focus on PS4 and Windows PCs instead.
Nvidia is also trying to make its game streaming service successful.