Microsoft may have lost its former head Entertainment Division President Don Mattrick to Zynga, but apparently they’re planning to get back at them by trying to grab some of their market share, as revealed by a career opportunity ad seeking a Senior Software Development Engineer posted today.
Here’s an excerpt of the ad:
Microsoft Studios First Party Production is looking for a strong Software Development Engineer to help build and maintain world-class casual gaming portals. If you’re interested in a challenging opportunity that will help bring fun to millions of customers worldwide, then read on.
The ideal candidate must be able to hit the ground running, working with internal and external development teams against tight deadlines. Strong technical skills, exemplary communication, and relationship management skills are required. Passion for web and casual games is a must. Experience shipping modern, responsive web sites and services is pivotal for this position.
Core Software Development Engineer tasks include: driving development of a fast-paced online project; managing vendor development teams; designing and implementing cutting-edge web sites and applications using the latest tools and technologies; and supporting third-party game developers.
From the text we can easily extrapolate that Microsoft is planning on launching several web-based casual games developed by both first and third party teams. The preferred competences also include experience with Azure, so it’s very likely that the games will use Microsoft’s cloud services for their back end logic.
We’ll have to stand by and see if Microsoft will manage to compete with giants of the field like Zynga, but Azure probably gives them a strong starting point, especially if paired with proprietary IPs like Halo, Fable and many others. It’s hard not to see how many of those franchises could become extremely successful in browser game form, and they could easily provide further revenue to be used in the development of more of the AAA games we all love.