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Sega and Microsoft partner up to develop cloud-powered 'Super Games'

Judgment
(Image credit: Sega)

Back in May, Sega expressed its desire to create what it called a "Super Game" within the next 5 years. Now, the Japanese publisher has entered a strategic alliance with Microsoft, with plans to use the tech giant's Azure cloud platform to power those ambitious plans.

Announced in a press release over the weekend, Sega announced that it had partnered with Microsoft to produce "large-scale, global games in a next-generation development environment". Notably, Sega cites the widespread deployment of 5G for this push into cloud tech, both in how it makes its games and how it distributes them.

At the core of this partnership will be Sega's still as-yet-undisclosed "Super Game" project. Initially described as a pitch to create a new IP with global reach, this week's announcement only elaborated with vague buzzwords like "Global", "Online", "Community" and "IP utilization". In recent years, Sega has sat comfortably as a well regarded (if not massive) publisher of PC strategy games and Japanese RPGs—but on some level, it sounds like the publisher would love to once again release something with the cultural clout of those first Sonic games.

"SEGA has played such an iconic role in the gaming industry and has been a tremendous partner over the years," said  Microsoft CVP Sarah Bond. "We look forward to working together as they explore new ways to create unique gaming experiences for the future using Microsoft cloud technologies. Together we will reimagine how games get built, hosted, and operated, with a goal of adding more value to players and SEGA alike."

This wouldn't be the first time Sega and Microsoft have collaborated, of course, with the two firms partnering to release 11 games exclusively on the original Xbox, as part of that console's ill-fated push into Japan. Sega did support its "Super Game" announcement with plans to start reviving older IP, and while it may be wishful thinking, I'm keeping all my fingers crossed for any kind of Jet Set Radio Future revival.

Natalie Clayton

20 years ago, Nat played Jet Set Radio Future for the first time—and she's not stopped thinking about games since. Joining PC Gamer in 2020, she comes from three years of freelance reporting at Rock Paper Shotgun, Waypoint, VG247 and more. Embedded in the European indie scene and having herself developed critically acclaimed small games like Can Androids Pray, Nat is always looking for a new curiosity to scream about—whether it's the next best indie darling, or simply someone modding a Scotmid into Black Mesa. She's also played for a competitive Splatoon team, and unofficially appears in Apex Legends under the pseudonym Horizon.