Microsoft and Sega have had a decent relationship in recent years. While the Redmond tech giant reportedly considered buying Sega over a decade ago, that deal never materialized. However, the two have maintained a fairly friendly relationship since then. Yakuza: Like a Dragon was released as a launch title for Xbox Series X|S consoles and several other Yakuza titles have also made their way to Xbox Game Pass. Today, Microsoft and Sega have announced a new strategic alliance.
Sega says that this partnership revolves around the company harnessing the power of Microsoft Azure to build large-scale games in a "next-generation development environment". The Japanese company says that this will enable it to progress its "Super Game" initiative which is a mid- to long-term strategy to build titles that are global, online, and community-focused. The idea is to cater to large audiences via game experiences by leveraging Azure cloud technologies.
Sega's President and COO Yukio Sugino has the following to say about the deal:
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. 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.
Over the time period of this strategic alliance, Sega and Microsoft will collaboratively work to enhance development processes and evolve network infrastructure and online communication tools and services.