Microsoft is built on the belief of empowering people and organizations to achieve more – it is the DNA of our company. Today, we are announcing a new initiative, Microsoft Game Stack, in which we commit to bringing together Microsoft tools and services that will empower game developers to achieve more.
Game Stack brings together all of our game-development platforms, tools, and services—such as Azure, PlayFab, DirectX, Visual Studio, Xbox Live, App Center, and Havok—into a robust ecosystem that any game developer can use. The goal of Game Stack is to help developers easily discover the tools and services they need to create and operate their game.
The cloud plays a critical role in Game Stack, and Azure fills this vital need. Azure provides the building blocks like compute and storage, as well as cloud-native services from machine learning and AI, to push notifications and mixed reality spatial anchors. While Azure is part of Game Stack, it’s important to call out that Game Stack is cloud, network, and device agnostic. And we’re not stopping here.
The next piece of Game Stack is PlayFab, a complete backend service for building and operating live games. A year ago, we welcomed PlayFab into Microsoft through an acquisition. Today, we’re excited to announce we are bringing PlayFab into the Azure family. Together, Azure and PlayFab are a powerful combination: Azure brings reliability, global scale, and enterprise-level security; PlayFab provides Game Stack with managed game-development services, real-time analytics, and LiveOps capabilities.
Today we’re also excited to announce five new PlayFab services:
- PlayFab Matchmaking: Powerful matchmaking for multiplayer games, adapted from Xbox Live matchmaking, but now available to all games and all devices.
- PlayFab Party: Leverages Azure Cognitive Services for real-time translation and transcription to make games accessible to more players.
- PlayFab Game Insights: Combines robust real-time game telemetry with game data from multiple other sources to measure your game’s performance and create actionable insights.
- PlayFab Pub Sub: Subscribe your game client to messages pushed from PlayFab’s servers via a persistent connection, powered by Azure SignalR. This enables scenarios such as real-time content updates, matchmaking notifications, and simple multiplayer gameplay.
- PlayFab User Generated Content: Engage your community by allowing players to create and safely share user generated content with other players.
Growing the Xbox Live Community
Over the past 16 years, Xbox Live has become one of the most vibrant and engaged gaming communities in the world. It is also a safe and inclusive network that has broken down boundaries in how gamers connect across devices.
Today, we’re excited for Xbox Live to become part of Microsoft Game Stack, providing identity and community services. Under Game Stack, Xbox Live will expand its cross-platform capabilities, as we introduce a new SDK that brings this community to iOS and Android devices.
Mobile developers will now be able to reach some of the most highly engaged and passionate gamers on the planet with Xbox Live. These are just a few of the benefits for mobile developers:
- Trusted Game Identity: With the new Xbox Live SDK, developers can focus on creating great games and leverage Microsoft‘s trusted identity network to support log-in, privacy, online safety and child accounts.
- Frictionless Integration: New a la carte service offerings and Xbox Live certification pass give mobile developers flexibility in how they build and update their games.
- Vibrant Gaming Community: Reach Xbox Live’s growing community and connect gamers across a multitude of platforms.
Other components of Game Stack include Visual Studio, Mixer, DirectX, Azure App Center, Visual Studio, and Visual Studio Code, and Havok. In the coming months, as we work to improve and grow Game Stack, you’ll see deeper connections between these services as we unify them to work more seamlessly together.
As we expand our focus to the cloud, the nature of the platform may be changing, but our commitment to empower game developers is unwavering, and we’re looking forward to the journey ahead with Microsoft Game Stack.