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Microsoft and Sega Form Strategic Partnership (Azure)

Osaka_Boss

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May 27, 2021
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You guys PROBABLY don't remember, but SEGA mentioned a big new AAA FPS IP in their fiscal year report. Quite sure this new IP is related to the usage of azure. And hell, quite sure it will be a Destiny-like game
 
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SenjutsuSage

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You do understand that Sarah Bond is simply the closest contact between Microsoft and Sega, which means that she likely worked on mediating this? I understand that you likely don't understand how companies work, but it should be pretty obvious. Sarah Bond's own comment doesn't make a single hint to Xbox, Game Pass, or anything of the sort. It's all about Sega and Azure.

This is about Sega developing games, and acquiring tools to do so from a company that sells them (and has been selling them to a large bunch of people, as mentioned by Satya Nadella three days ago).

Again, why do I even bother... 😂

You shouldn't bother. I'll interpret this how I please, and you and anyone else feel free to do the same. Okay, we have an understanding. :)
 

Fake

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Some just came...
Ron Burgundy Battle GIF
 
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This is great news; I feel like Sega still has a pretty messy development pipeline in areas and these plans are probably part of longer-term restructuring they were already doing earlier. In a way it's kind of like Sega and Microsoft coming full-circle again in terms of Microsoft providing technologies for Sega (they did this long ago with the Dreamcast).

I hope this extends to Microsoft co-funding some new Sega AAA titles like back in the OG Xbox days; if it's the only way we can get a new Panzer Dragoon, Phantasy Star (Online or solo), ThunderForce (Sega owns the IP now), Dragon Force, Ristar, Crazy Taxi, Rez, Fighter's Megamix etc. then I'm all for it.

Nice news to stealth drop on Halloween xD, now I'm gonna go back to playing some games.

Abriael_GN Abriael_GN Yes this announcement's primarily about Sega and Azure, but it's also not out of the realm of possibility that co-funding of some games (possibly exclusive) between Microsoft and Sega could also be a part of this and, in fact, would not be unprecedented between the two of them.

There's no point trying to downplay this as something that isn't gaming-related given that's basically Sega's main business, but I also agree that anyone trying to read too much into this i.e an acquisition should probably stop where they are and not jump the gun, because this is no evidence of that. It's not even particularly evidence of MS co-funding any games for Sega that would be potentially be exclusive to the Xbox ecosystem, but that's a far more realistic possibility than an acquisition and probably a smarter one financially-speaking, at least for the next few years.

I'm particularly interested if Sega integrates Azure with their fog gaming initiative they've already kind of got going for arcades in Japan...well the ones they still happen to own, anyway. Or maybe this could be something they use to re-enter that market (in terms of ownership/running of arcade/FEC game centers in Japan and other parts of Asia) with a different strategy utilizing Azure in some capacity.
 
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00_Zer0

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Nov 20, 2018
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“Online” “community” they say? I say… not interested!
If Sega can bring back some of their iconic arcade games via remakes or sequels, and have them be able to reach masses on a global scale using Azure, I say go for it. I would love to see many of their racing and fighting games make a come back or even some of their old co op arcade games make a come back. Those games were always fun in the arcade. If Sega does this the right way, unlike their crappy mobile games initiative, I think that this could be successful. Let's hope for the best!
 
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"IP UTILIZATION" is mentioned. I wonder what dormant Sega IP we might see come back now that they've got this partnership?
There's got to be something Sega can modernize with ESWAT. Lots of options with first/third person and action game/shooter.
 
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Also, why are some people being weird trying to say this is the same as the Sony/Microsoft deal? Sony is a platform holder; Sega is not. This has more in common with the rumored KojiPro/Microsoft thing than the Sony/Microsoft one, so there is a good chance this will end up involving at least one game from between them (an obvious guess would be a new Phantasy Star Online).

Sony's use of Azure is wholly based on the backend of things for their own services, and they are probably still some years away from fully utilizing it in mass capacity (IIRC the two companies are basically just sharing/exchanging ideas with MS crafting up solutions that Sony may want to utilize based on various talks, etc. Not sure how deep all of that's gotten yet). There isn't much logical sense for Microsoft to announce an Azure partnership with Sega if it doesn't involve games leveraging the technology. Also like some other people are commentating the term "IP utilization" is also in there so this sounds a lot more like gaming content from Sega (likely with funding by Microsoft) that will be used to help provide their Xbox and GamePass platforms with more content variety (especially of the Japanese type, something Sega can provide and that Xbox/GamePass needs more of in terms of exclusive content IMHO).

This is one of the best outcomes tbh; gamers are going to most likely get new Sega games, MS getting more Japanese content for their hardware & software platforms, and Sega maintaining their status as an independent 3P publisher so sensitive kids don't have brain aneurysms/Twitter doesn't implode. Interested to see where this leads.
 

Kenshin775

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Oct 16, 2019
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I did not know Sarah Bond grew up a Sega fan. Pretty cool. Maybe we get more details but right now it just sounds like an Azure deal. I dont doubt MS is trying to acquire Sega or exclusive games from Sega tho. I actually think its pretty likely. But I dont think Sega wants to sell.

If MS gets Total War: Warhammer 3 on Gamepass I am going to bump the Sega acquisition on Wednesday thread for shits and giggles.
 

Topher

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Also, why are some people being weird trying to say this is the same as the Sony/Microsoft deal? Sony is a platform holder; Sega is not. This has more in common with the rumored KojiPro/Microsoft thing than the Sony/Microsoft one, so there is a good chance this will end up involving at least one game from between them (an obvious guess would be a new Phantasy Star Online).

Sony's use of Azure is wholly based on the backend of things for their own services, and they are probably still some years away from fully utilizing it in mass capacity (IIRC the two companies are basically just sharing/exchanging ideas with MS crafting up solutions that Sony may want to utilize based on various talks, etc. Not sure how deep all of that's gotten yet). There isn't much logical sense for Microsoft to announce an Azure partnership with Sega if it doesn't involve games leveraging the technology. Also like some other people are commentating the term "IP utilization" is also in there so this sounds a lot more like gaming content from Sega (likely with funding by Microsoft) that will be used to help provide their Xbox and GamePass platforms with more content variety (especially of the Japanese type, something Sega can provide and that Xbox/GamePass needs more of in terms of exclusive content IMHO).

This is one of the best outcomes tbh; gamers are going to most likely get new Sega games, MS getting more Japanese content for their hardware & software platforms, and Sega maintaining their status as an independent 3P publisher so sensitive kids don't have brain aneurysms/Twitter doesn't implode. Interested to see where this leads.

That is a lot of supposition. Sega specifically references 5G connectivity and "high-quality entertainment content at any time". This is obviously about using Azure for streaming games just like how Sony said they were looking to use Azure for "game and content streaming".

But what is this nonsense with folks highlighting "IP utilization"? Sega has IP and they want to utilize it in this "Super game", whatever that is. That is exactly what they said. Read it again.

"SEGA Corporation (hereinafter referred to as "SEGA") and Microsoft Corporation (hereinafter referred to as "Microsoft") have agreed in principal, a strategic alliance that explores ways for SEGA to produce large-scale, global games in a next-generation development environment built on Microsoft’s Azure cloud platform. The alliance would form a key part of SEGA’s mid to long-term strategy, allowing the business to move forward with “Super Game”, a new initiative for developing new and innovative titles where the key focuses are “Global”, “Online”, “Community” and “IP utilization”.

Nothing in that press release even remotely hints that any of this has anything to do with anything outside of Sega utilizing Microsoft services for developing this "super game" in Azure. No "funding by Microsoft". No Xbox. No Game Pass. None of that is there at all.

Buster Keaton End Rant GIF
 

Black_Stride

do not tempt fate do not contrain Wonder Woman's thighs do not do not
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But they already use it in Phantasy Star Online 2 NG lol

That's why PSO2NG doesn't come out in English for ps4/5. They host the English servers on the azure. Nothing really special beyond saying they will use it I stead of Google's lol

You do know Sony also use Azure right?
The parent companies dont actually console war anywhere near as much as fanboys think they do.
Microsoft will let practically anyone use Azure if you got the dollar.
PSO2 being hosted on Azure isnt the reason there wasnt a localized release.
 

reksveks

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Jun 4, 2020
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Can't see Sega being a massive Azure user in comparison to other game publishers. I know Bungie is also on Azure as well. For MS, it is just a good new customer to add to the Azure portfolio and also any chance to get feedback on their azure gaming related product offering. I do think that they are both highlighting the fact that they are interested in streamlining game development when more of your employees are working remotely, not exactly an unique trend.

I wonder how EA, T2, Activision cloud resources break down.

I very much doubt that there is some commercial agreement in place that says that certain games will need to come in GP.
 
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I think a couple of years back I would have suggested that Azure was possibly of use to Sega for their arcade division but quite understandably Sega arcades have been closing across Japan over the past couple of years.
 

Elog

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This is probably one of the most corporate BS PR I have ever read.

Cool that Sega and MS is partnering around one high-budget game title for the cloud platform. Might the beginning of something.

That PR though...
 
Aug 5, 2009
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Actually it is pretty much exactly the same. Why in the world would Sega create a partnership with Microsoft to use Azure for the purposes of "Game Pass partnerships"?

Sorry man, but you are reading a lot of stuff into this that just isn't there. This is exactly like Sony's agreement with Microsoft to use Azure. Nothing more.
Yes and no doubt SEGA will look to use the Cloud for content for its Arcade games. I just take it SEGA happy with the Cloud tech that it uses for PSO 2 on the Xbox Ect
Hopefully it may me we get some nice Arcade games coming to LIVE via the cloud too
 

Xbudz

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This is probably one of the most corporate BS PR I have ever read.

Cool that Sega and MS is partnering around one high-budget game title for the cloud platform. Might the beginning of something.

That PR though...
The quote says "Sega is developing Innovative titles". Plural. It's part of Sega's "Super Game" initiative, but this is more than one game.
 

Elog

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The quote says "Sega is developing Innovative titles". Plural. It's part of Sega's "Super Game" initiative, but this is more than one game.
Maybe you are right but the content part of the PR reads (first full paragraph - my bolded parts):

"SEGA Co., Ltd. (SEGA) and Microsoft Corporation ("Microsoft") will promote title development using various Microsoft technologies on the cloud platform Microsoft Azure in order to create a large global title that is listed as Super Game in SEGA's medium- to long-term priority strategy. We agreed to consider strategic alliances centered on the construction of SEGA's next-generation development environment by utilizing microsoft's solutions."

Looks like one title with potentially more to come. I doubt they would get the first paragraph wrong since that should contain the single piece of news that resulted in the market communication.
 

SaucyJack

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“Partnership” is a massively overused word in modern business and is frequently used to describe normal buyer/seller interactions.

As far as I can see Sega is becoming a customer of Microsoft as they’re buying their cloud services.
 

Chukhopops

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“Partnership” is a massively overused word in modern business and is frequently used to describe normal buyer/seller interactions.

As far as I can see Sega is becoming a customer of Microsoft as they’re buying their cloud services.
I don’t think that’s the full extent of it since Sega has been using Azure for at least a year and a half (and probably more):

 

Shifty1897

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Microsoft has recently been signing these Azure strategic partnership deals with lots of major customers who were multi-cloud previously. I wouldn't look too much into it from a gaming perspective.

Source: I work for a software company who recently signed a strategic partnership deal with Azure, which sucks for me because my product is currently in AWS and I'm afraid management is either going to EOL my product or make me move it to Azure, which would take a ridiculous amount of work given the size of my team.
 
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anthony2690

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Hopefully Microsoft fund a JSRF port or pay the music licenses or whatever is preventing the Xbox version getting released/sold to us digitally.
 
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The power of the cloud strike again
In the era of Covid it makes sense. I would imagine with working from home Ect, the cloud has been a helpful development took. I do hole this means SEGA will look to bring some of it's classic Arcade games via Cloud to Xbox
 

Swift_Star

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Wonder what this mean in terms of what platforms sega wants to target.
With this being a partnership it means Microsoft are getting something out of it or have some kind of influence over sega.
Im guessing it will mean day1 sega gamea to gamepass but they will still be multiplatform.
Nothing since everyone and their mother make partnership with either Azure, AWS or Google Cloud.
 

Hendrick's

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Love how defensive some are getting at the mere thought of an Xbox-Sega exclusive. While this partnership doesn’t gaurantee that, it’s sure helps get the foot in the door. Look forward to more meltdowns when the next announcement comes.
 

Markio128

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Love how defensive some are getting at the mere thought of an Xbox-Sega exclusive. While this partnership doesn’t gaurantee that, it’s sure helps get the foot in the door. Look forward to more meltdowns when the next announcement comes.
I only see folk trying to make reasonable sense of the announcement, but don’t let that stop you enjoying your unicorn ride.
 

Fitzchiv

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Apr 24, 2018
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Sega's stock price has done what you'd expect it to with this kind of announcement - this is primarily about them. The terms they put in quotes are the ones signalling growth and improved ROCE for shareholders. For Microsoft this is a case of having another finger in someone elses pie. The long term for them is about being the route to market for gaming.

It's naive for people to think there won't be GamePass/Xbox level benefits to this deal, just through proximity and closeness of relationship, but to be clear "IP Utilization" in particular is all about Sega saying to shareholders and investors of their holding company they're going to drive revenue growth through use of existing intangible assets.
 

Fredrik

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Golden Axe. Giant action RPG. Open world. Do it.
Okay now I need that! No MMO, just single player and co-op. The original characters and designs, the modern audience will cry but they don’t know what the IP is anyway so who cares. Dragon mounts. UE5. Do it SEGA! ⭐
 
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cireza

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Love how defensive some are getting at the mere thought of an Xbox-Sega exclusive. While this partnership doesn’t gaurantee that, it’s sure helps get the foot in the door. Look forward to more meltdowns when the next announcement comes.
The suffering is intense indeed.
 
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