Agawi, one of the bigger names in cloud gaming, is teaming up with Microsoft to enable streaming of several social, mid-core and hardcore games to upcoming Windows 8 PCs and tablets. To learn more about what the deal means for future Windows 8 users, as well as how it affects Agawi itself, we spoke with Agawi’s VP of partnerships Krishna Hegde.
“The way we’re executing the partnership is through [Microsoft’s] Azure cloud platform,” said Hegde. With Azure at their disposal, Agawi has access to resources they didn’t have independently, and it opens quite a few new doors for them – not all of which relate to Windows 8. But while access to a new platform will surely help them in their journey for ubiquity, Microsoft’s clout with developers far and wide will be just as – if not more – crucial. “With this partnership we’re working with their platform evangelism team, who evangelizes the [Windows 8] platform to their 4 million plus developers,” stated Hegde. Additionally, Agawi is in talks with several game developers about bringing their games to their platform.
This partnership marks the biggest move Microsoft has made to silence critics who argue that Windows 8 could prove to be a very unhealthy platform for gaming. The most frequently cited concern is that the OS will be a gated environment, shutting out the games that Microsoft or the powers that be don’t view as up to snuff. And while you could throw the same argument at Apple, it’s grown increasingly clear throughout the years that there’s very little they won’t publish on the App Store.
It could be that Microsoft will approach the situation with a similar level of leniency, or that it won’t be an issue at all. No matter the case, it’s clear the company is in desperate need of some damage control. It remains to be seen, but expressing their confidence in cloud gaming could be just what the doctor ordered.
No matter where things end up for Windows 8, Agawi doesn’t have all their eggs in the Microsoft basket. “You can actually take [Azure] to any mobile device or TV out there, so it’s quite the expansion of our cloud offering,” said Hegde. Cloud gaming companies are cropping up left and right, and the technology is in many ways ahead of where we’re at as an industry, so it’s interesting to see a company that’s ready to stick it out for the long haul, and not actively seeking an acquisition.
Agawi is in a fantastic position to become one of the leading names in cloud gaming. With Azure at their disposal – and a company like Microsoft supporting them – they’re able to dodge a lot of the extravagant fees that come with streaming games to users. So long as they continue to build upon their architecture and expand their list of available games, there’s a solid chance they’ll be the service of choice once the cloud revolution kicks into gear.