Microsoft officially reveals Xbox Game Studios Publishing cloud division
A new sub-section of Xbox first-party publishing is focused on building cloud games.
What you need to know
- Microsoft officially discussed its Xbox Game Studios Publishing cloud gaming division at GDC 2022.
- This division of the Xbox publishing group is working on cloud-native games.
- Kim Swift, head of the cloud gaming division, discussed the kinds of challenges the team is looking to tackle.
Microsoft officially talked about its Xbox Game Studios Publishing Cloud gaming division at GDC 2022. This division is working to create "cloud-native" games for the Xbox ecosystem.
In a presentation (as shared by VGC), senior director of Cloud Gaming Kim Swift talked about the process for developers working with the publishing organization. Unlike streaming a game through Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, a cloud-native game would theoretically be processed almost entirely server-side, before then being streamed to a player's device.
Swift is a veteran game designer who has worked project lead on Portal and designer on Left 4 Dead at Valve before also working as a game design director at the now-defunct Stadia Games and Entertainment. Swift was hired by Xbox Game Studios Publishing back in June 2021.
"We believe that cloud gaming has a huge potential upside for reach and accessibility," Swift explained, while adding that the team is looking to publish cloud-native games.
Swift also notes that cloud gaming is still relatively early on as a technology, and further areas of research not yet figured out include better graphics, more complex or numerous NPCs or even more players that possible on native hardware.
According to reports from last year, Xbox is working on deal to publish one of the next games from Hideo Kojima and Kojima Productions, though we'll have to wait and see if anything is officially announced.
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Xbox Game Pass gives you access to over 200 games for one monthly fee. Xbox Game Pass Ultimate also adds Xbox Live Gold to the package so you can play online with your friends. You also get access to EA Play.
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Samuel Tolbert is a freelance writer covering gaming news, previews, reviews, interviews and different aspects of the gaming industry, specifically focusing on Xbox and PC gaming on Windows Central. You can find him on Twitter @SamuelTolbert.