Microsoft Buys Cloud Gaming Startup PlayFab To Bolster Azure
Microsoft has bought Seattle gaming startup PlayFab, a move that could make it more attractive for developers to use Microsoft's Azure to build video and PC games.
PlayFab launched nearly four years, led by former Microsoft and PopCap manager James Gwertzman. The startup offers tools to game developers that help them build and manage their software as more gamers play online.
The days of building a game, selling it on discs and sitting back while gamers played has ended. As Gwertzman noted in a blog post announcing the news Monday, game developers now need to consistently update games online with new features and make sure they can handle growing traffic from gamers.
Microsoft declined to say how much it paid for PlayFab. The startup was valued at $22.9 million when it raised its last funding round in late 2016, according to PitchBook Data.
PlayFab's 15 employees will join Microsoft.
Microsoft plans to use PlayFab's technology to further encourage game developers to build their games on Azure, the company's cloud computing platform. Together, the services will aim to help developers manage games, especially after they launch, by providing analytics and server capacity.
PlayFab provides services for more than 1,200 games, it said, and is used by Disney, Wizards of the Coast and NBC Universal among others.
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