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Microsoft acquires PlayFab

Back-end live ops tech company will be used to bolster Microsoft Azure cloud platform

Microsoft is stepping up the investment in its Azure cloud platform. The company today announced that it has acquired PlayFab and its back-end platform of tools for live ops games.

"Many industries are moving to the intelligent cloud, and this trend is true in gaming as well," explained Microsoft corporate VP of gaming Kareem Choudhry. "This means an increasing number of developers are looking to create connected games for mobile, PC and console devices that have a significant emphasis on post-launch operations. However, the cost and complexity of achieving this through custom-built, server-side tools and technologies is high, and PlayFab offers developers a compelling model that scales naturally with their games' players."

According to PlayFab CEO and co-founder James Gwertzman, the company's tech has been used by more than 3,000 studios, can be found in more than 1,200 currently operating games, and has served more than 700 million players.

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

Gwertzman co-founded PlayFab with CTO Matt Augustine in 2014. Gwertzman had come from PopCap, where he helped launch PopCap Asia and transition the company's developers to the games-as-a-service model. Augustine came from Super Monday Night Combat developer Uber Entertainment, where he'd been working for years on the technology that would become PlayFab.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

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