Sega & Microsoft Forms New Strategic Partnership To Establish “Next-Generation Development Environment”

Posted on November 1, 2021 by Nick Moreno

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Although fans are counting the days until Microsoft’s next big purchase for its video game venture over at Xbox, there is heavy presumption for the firm to outright acquire one of a handful major publishers in the industry. In that, companies like Take-Two Interactive or Warner Bros. Games. However, a reoccurring firm that many are confident is Sega. While there is no confirmation on the pursuit, fans do believe the possibility to be likely.

In the past, there has been rumored collaboration between both firms in 2020. Although the two continue to work closely with additions for Xbox Game Pass like the entirety of the mainline Yakuza franchise previously, the claim went a next step further. That being the firm would overlook the release of the Xbox Series platform in Japan. However, that was proven to be untrue as time revealed.

Recently, Microsoft was reported to be delivering record-shattering numbers for the Xbox Series X|S performance in Japan already towering close to the 100K sales mark for units in the region. But while there is still no word on the acquisition of Sega, the two are collaborating for something else. A new press release from Sega reveals to be working on a new “Next-Generation Development Environment.”

SEGA and Microsoft Corporation  have agreed in principal, a strategic alliance that explores ways for SEGA to produce large-scale, global games in a next-generation development environment built on Microsoft’s Azure cloud platform. The alliance would form a key part of SEGA’s mid to long-term strategy, allowing the business to move forward with “Super Game”, a new initiative for developing new and innovative titles where the key focuses are “Global”, “Online”, “Community” and “IP utilization”.

With the world now more connected than ever following the widespread deployment of 5G and cloud services in recent years, consumers can more easily enjoy high-quality entertainment content at any time. Within this highly connected environment, the ecosystem surrounding the games industry continues to evolve and expand as more sophisticated tools and technologies become available.

As such, video games continue to grow as a major medium for gamers globally, with access to a vast range of gaming experiences and communities becoming more diverse and attainable. This proposed alliance represents SEGA looking ahead, and by working with Microsoft to anticipate such trends as they accelerate further in future, the goal is to optimise development processes and continue to bring high-quality experiences to players using Azure cloud technologies.

Microsoft and SEGA have agreed upon the foundation for this alliance and through mutual cooperation, will look to build further technological evolutions with areas such as the network infrastructure and communication tools required for global online services being a key priority. Additionally, by shifting to a next-generation development platform, SEGA can effectively adapt to diversifying work styles and potential infrastructural changes.

“SEGA has played such an iconic role in the gaming industry and has been a tremendous partner over the years. We look forward to working together as they explore new ways to create unique gaming experiences for the future using Microsoft cloud technologies,” Sarah Bond, Microsoft Vice President for Game Creator Experience and Ecosystem shares. “Together we will reimagine how games get built, hosted, and operated, with a goal of adding more value to players and SEGA alike.”

“We are very pleased to announce today that we are considering a strategic alliance with Microsoft to help develop SEGA’s new “Super Game” initiative as well as build a next-generation game development environment,” SEGA President and COO Yukio Sugino adds.

“By considering a strategic partnership with Microsoft, we seek to further advance our game development so that our titles can be enjoyed by fans all over the world; in this regard, we aim to build an alliance that utilizes both SEGA’s powerful game development capabilities and Microsoft’s cutting-edge technology and development environment.”

In terms of the scale for this new initiative, plans on behalf of Sega and Microsoft is currently undetermined, but, it is likely to benefit both firms. For Sega, this is likely to assist in the previously reported ‘Fog Gaming’ project which integrates cabinet arcade games into a cloud-based infrastructure to play titles anywhere.

As for the Xbox company, xCloud appears to be the likeliest culprit. So far, the service announced to be building its own first-party sector for unique IPs with former Valve Kim Swift helming it all. Previously, it was reported that Hideo Kojima is involved with the supposed project with his own IP underway as he signs a Letter of Intent according to GamesBeat. You can read the full report by heading here.

Are you interested in this new arrangement between both Sega & Microsoft?

Source: Sega

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