• Microsoft made its ID@AZURE program available for all the developers; they do not need any invitation anymore.
  • With the latest announcement, game developers can spin up game dev workstations and build servers for approximately five minutes with the integrated Game Development Virtual Machine.

In the last few years, Microsoft has been making efforts to allow game developers to utilize Azure and other Microsoft cloud services. And finally, the firm declared the launch of more services and programs customized specifically for independent game developers.

Microsoft launched its Azure Game Development Virtual Machine for all the game developers who want to create and test games in a production-ready cloud environment. The virtual machines will have inbuilt tools like Unreal Engine, Perforce, Incredibuild, Visual Studio, DirectX/GDK/PlayFab software development kits, and others.

Game developers can spin up game dev workstations or develop servers in approximately five minutes with these inbuilt Game Development Virtual Machines. Microsoft officials also said that the developers could use a configured Game Dev Virtual machine as a base image to build custom workstation environments or develop servers.

Ben Humphrey, a principal software engineer for Azure, wrote in a blog about virtual machines “We’re committed to making Azure the cloud of choice for game creators, so expect to see additional investments in the future, including: more powerful compute and GPUs; tighter partner integrations with improved cloud-native authentication; better end-to-end examples and documentation on running your game dev pipeline in Azure; better options for cloud pipelines leveraging Xbox development and more.”

Additionally, the ID@Azure program is being made available by Microsoft, which is similar to the ID@Xbox program. ID@Azure is a free platform to deliver Microsoft tools and infrastructure to game developers to design games that can run on all platforms. Developers will get services for validation and integration, educational resources, and support for Azure experts for free as a part of the program.

Earlier in December, when the ID@Azure program was launched, it was available as an invitation-only closed beta program. Now, Microsoft has made it available to everyone.

Azure executes all Microsoft’s xCloud game-streaming services. Game developers, including Microsoft, have access to Bing Maps, Microsoft Mesh, Bing Maps, Azure AI, PlayFab developer services, and other Microsoft cloud technologies for developing and maintaining their games. The officials also stated all the work game developers do on Azure is “inform and accelerate Cloud computing.”

Microsoft launched the Microsoft Game Stack, a collective of cloud services such as Azure, Power BI, PlayFab, Mixer and Xbox Live, and other development tools in 2019. Furthermore, Microsoft bought PlayFab, a tool service vendor for cloud-connected games, in 2018.