Sega and Microsoft Explore Cloud Partnership to Drive Sonic Publisher Development

Microsoft and Sega have announced that they are in talks to form a “strategic alliance” in which the Japanese publisher will use Microsoft’s cloud technology in the development of its games.

The two companies have signed an agreement in principle that will explore how Sega can “produce large-scale, global games in a next-generation development environment built on Microsoft’s Azure cloud platform.”

Sega’s goal is to improve its development processes, especially at a time when more people are working remotely or from different locations. The company adds that switching to a new development platform will allow it to “effectively adapt to diversifying work styles and potential infrastructure changes.”

Blending in with the announcement is Sega’s new “Super Game” strategy, describing it as an initiative to “develop new and innovative titles with key focus areas of ‘Global’, ‘Online’, ‘Community’ and ‘IP use’.”

It also mentions Sega and Microsoft collaborating to “build further technological evolutions, with areas such as the network infrastructure and communication tools needed for global online services being a top priority.”

Given the early stage of this partnership, it’s unclear what this means, but it suggests Sega is exploring the possibilities of building more online services and live service games using Microsoft’s technology.

Microsoft has previously entered into a similar agreement with Sony, with the two rival platform holders working together to use Microsoft Azure to power cloud services and AI technology.

Cloud technology has become a major pillar for Microsoft, especially in the past two years with so many people working from home during the pandemic. In its most recent financials, the company reported that nearly half of its quarterly revenue — $20.7 billion in fact — came from Microsoft Cloud.

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