Microsoft, Sega considering ‘strategic alliance’ centered around future of game development

The new partnership is being discussed, with a focus on technological innovation and using Microsoft's Azure cloud platform.

Image via Sega

Microsoft and Sega could be working together closely on several future projects.

Both companies have agreed in principle to a new “strategic alliance” that would see Sega producing large-scale, global games using Microsoft’s Azure cloud platform. This would be part of Sega’s “Super Game” initiative, which the company is using to prioritize important areas for new, innovative titles—with “key focuses” on “global, online, community, and IP utilization,” according to the company’s press release

Azure is Microsoft’s cloud computing service, which provides support for software, platforms, and various infrastructure. Along with its other uses, Microsoft is using Azure to bolster its cloud gaming environment and performance on mobile, PC, and Xbox, which is where this partnership with Sega will shine. 

Working together, Microsoft and Sega will anticipate technological trends in the games industry, optimize various development processes, and utilize Azure’s cloud technologies to bring evolving and diverse gaming experiences to communities around the world, though it is still in the consideration phase. 

“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,” said Yukio Sugino, Sega president and COO. “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.”

Despite some of Sega’s titles not appearing on Microsoft’s Xbox consoles, namely Atlus’ Persona series, the companies have worked together a lot over the last several decades, including bringing the entire Yakuza franchise and other games it has published to Xbox Game Pass. 

This partnership also gives Microsoft a large and established third-party partner moving forward into a future of gaming that will rely even more heavily on the technology Azure provides. 

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

More details about this potential partnership could be shared in the new future, but this shows that both companies are very open to working with each other beyond simple game publishing, which could lead to additional partnerships in down the road. However, this does not mean that Microsoft is in conversations to acquire Sega in any capacity, as many on social media have been speculating following the announcement.