Described by Microsoft as a “new Cloud Gaming organization,” within Xbox Game Studios Publishing, this new publishing label is, as the name suggests, all about developing premier cloud-native titles for the Xbox ecosystem.
Headed up by Kim Swift, best known for their work on Valve’s Portal and at Google Stadia, Microsoft’s new publishing wing aims to “partner with world-class game development teams to develop cloud-native games to bring unprecedented experiences to players that can only be achieved with cloud technology”.
Contrary to what we might think of when we hear ‘cloud gaming’ nowadays, in which console games are streamed via the cloud to be playable on almost any device, it appears that Microsoft’s latest venture is more focused on utilizing the phenomenal power of cloud computing.
Offering vastly more computing power to developers, “cloud-native” titles allow for some seriously impressive feats on modern hardware, as intensive gameplay aspects, such as physics, lighting, and AI, are able to be processed and rendered in server farms rather than in a small box in a users living room.
Previously Microsoft has showcased the potential of “cloud-native” gaming in titles such as Crackdown 3, which utilized the performance available through the cloud to process the still impressive destruction physics in its multiplayer mode ‘wrecking zone’.
With Microsoft having only just announced and advertised this new publishing organisation to developers, it will likely be a long time before we see the first games born from this initiative release into the Xbox ecosystem.