Microsoft shelters new social game developers in Windows Azure

Windows Azure Social Game
Windows Azure Social Game

Microsoft wants to be part of the social gaming phenomenon one way or another. (For now, that appears to be without buying a company like CrowdStar.) The ubiquitous tech company has launched the Windows Azure Toolkit for Social Games, a special set of free tools for social game developers to host their games from Windows' cloud storage solution, akin to Amazon's similar service.

And while big companies like Zynga use the latter, Microsoft thinks it can attract new developers with its solution. ITProPortal reports that the company announced its new product at the Casual Connect event in San Francisco recently, and that it will provide tools for developers that other services do not offer.

While Amazon offers simply a place to put your game data, Microsoft wants to help game creators with built-in methods for tracking achievements and scores as well as payment integration over Facebook Credits. And, more importantly, Microsoft claims that its Azure servers can handle an influx of players, which is vitally important in the early days of a game's release.

The free set of tools launched with Tankster, an HTML5-based social game housed on Windows Azure. It was created by Grant Skinner, an established casual and social game designer. With the big "M" in the game, perhaps the time for indie games on Facebook isn't over.

Do you think Microsoft has found its place in the world of social gaming? Will new or indie developers be attracted to this new service? Sound off in the comments. Add Comment.