Japan’s Sega & Microsoft partner to develop Azure-based global games

By Amirtha P S, Desk Reporter
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Sega Sammy Holdings, a Japanese holding company, is exploring a strategic alliance with Microsoft, American multinational technology corporation, to create big-budget titles using the Xbox maker’s cloud gaming tech, driving anticipation that the move could signal a deeper tie-up.

Tokyo-based Sega is looking to produce large-scale, global games in a next-generation development environment built on Microsoft’s Azure cloud platform, the company said in a stock exchange statement without providing further details.

Microsoft’s own major cloud gaming initiative is available via the Xbox Game Pass, a cross-platform subscription service that features Sega titles such as the “Yakuza” series.

The two companies have agreed upon the foundation for this alliance and through mutual cooperation, will look to build further technological evolutions within areas such as the network infrastructure and communication tools required for global online services being a key priority. 

Cloud gaming cuts ties to bulky hardware but requires a fast internet connection. Microsoft’s push into the nascent sector comes as Xbox is widely seen as being on the backfoot in the console battle with Sony’s PlayStation.

“By working with Microsoft to anticipate such trends as they accelerate further in the future, the goal is to optimize development processes and continue to bring high-quality experiences to players using Azure cloud technologies,” Sega said.

“Sega has played such an iconic role in the gaming industry and has been a tremendous partner over the years. We look forward to working together as they explore new ways to create unique gaming experiences for the future using Microsoft cloud technologies,” Ms. Sarah Bond, Corporate Vice President (CVP) of Microsoft Corporation, said.

A bid for “Sonic the Hedgehog” publisher Sega by Microsoft has been rumored for decades. The two firms have a long history of partnership with the current announcement coming after a string of critically acclaimed recent releases from Sega including in the “Persona” and “Total War” series.

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