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Sega enters cloud gaming agreement with Microsoft

The Japanese giant will use the Azure platform to develop its global online gaming community

Gaming giant Sega has announced a strategic alliance with Microsoft to develop big-budget titles on the Azure platform. 

The Tokyo-based game maker is looking to develop "super games" as part of a long-term strategy to build titles for a global online community. 

Sega and Microsoft have enjoyed a long partnership on the hardware front, but the Japanese firm has had to abandon its own console business after a series of failed products. The latest agreement with Microsoft, however, isn't about hardware, but rather about cloud technology and software. 

Microsoft's involvement is essentially about future-proofing the development of these games by utilising its cloud technology. The aim is to "anticipate" accelerating industry trends and optimise the development process with high-quality experiences for Sega users.

The foundations of this alliance also include mutual agreements to develop new technologies, focusing on areas such as network infrastructure and communication tools. 

"Sega has played such an iconic role in the gaming industry and has been a tremendous partner over the years," said Sarah Bond, Microsoft's CVP.

"We look forward to working together as they explore new ways to create unique gaming experiences for the future using Microsoft cloud technologies. Together we will reimagine how games get built, hosted, and operated, with a goal of adding more value to players and Sega alike."

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Microsoft has been looking to add more to its gaming portfolio in recent years, with reports that it was initially interested in acquiring Sega fully. The tech giant also reportedly made a £10 billion move for communication platform Discord, though the deal was said to be rejected because Discord preferred its own expansion plans.

"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 utilises both Sega's powerful game development capabilities and Microsoft's cutting-edge technology and development environment," said Yukio Sugino, the president and COO of Sega.

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