Xbox Game Studios Publishing Cloud officially unveiled at GDC 2022

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While it’s no secret that Microsoft has been working on cloud-based gaming projects (having recently announced the release of its Azure Game Development Virtual Machine as part of its ID@Azure program, for instance), today’s unveiling of Xbox Game Studios’ new cloud gaming division came as a bit of news nonetheless.

The unveil came at the 2022 Game Developer’s Conference, in which it was also revealed that Portal Director and industry veteran Kim Swift, who was hired by XGS back in June 2021 as Cloud Gaming Director, will be leading the new division. Swift also worked as designer on Left 4 Dead and was also Game Design Director at Stadia before Google ceased all first-party game development efforts for the platform.

Microsoft’s official word is that the division “works with studios to develop cloud-native titles and bring them exclusively to the Xbox ecosystem.” In a video presentation Swift discussed both the opportunities and the challenges present in cloud-native gaming, which she pointed out is still in a very nascent stage. In the video Swift used the example of how Netflix initially started out sending DVDs to its subscribers, and had to wait for the technology (specifically, internet speeds) to catch up to its vision.

It appears that Microsoft is hoping that XGS Publishing Cloud will help to achieve something similar for game streaming.

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