Microsoft acquires PlayFab, expands work to provide world-class cloud platform for gaming industry

Arif Bacchus

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Microsoft today announced they have acquired PlayFab, a Seattle-based provider of a complete backend platform with services to build, launch and grow cloud-connected games. The acquisition is part of the company’s ongoing work with Azure gaming to help provide a world-class cloud platform for the gaming industry. It also comes after Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella remarked that the company has plans to expand the pursuit of $100 billion gaming industry.

The Redmond giant showed a specific interest in PlayFab’s backend services because it “reduces the barriers to launch for game developers, and gives large and small studios cost-effective development solutions.” This is important for scaling games, and helping developers engage with players and monetize games. It is also important for gamers too as they will see a “higher, faster degree of innovation and better experiences,” according to Microsoft.

In the words of James Gwertzman, CEO, and Co-founder of PlayFab:

Microsoft, with its deep expertise in gaming and cloud computing, is a perfect home for PlayFab as we expand our platform and features. 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.

From the start, PlayFab has been driven by the desire to help our customers unlock their creativity. We are humbled by the trust developers place in us when they depend on our services to run their games, and look forward to rewarding that trust with the entirely new level of features, resources, and support that this acquisition is going to enable. The entire team is as excited as I am to continue on this journey with Microsoft.

Microsoft notes PlayFab’s tech is a “natural complement to Azure for gaming” specifically because it “enables developers to use the intelligent cloud to build and operate games, analyze gaming data and improve overall gaming experiences.”

PlayFab has served 700 million gamers worldwide and is currently powering more than 1,200 games, including games from Disney, Rovio, and Atari. This makes for an excellent combination with Microsoft, which also has Azure gaming locations in 42 regions worldwide, and world-class server infrastructure.