In its bid to get more game creators to use its cloud tool Azure, Microsoft has unveiled its Azure Game Development Virtual Machine. The reveal of the new product was delivered in a March 23 Microsoft Game Dev Blog post, which also went on to itemize the benefits for game developers of migrating to a cloud-based game production environment.
The virtual machines will come pre-built and ready with tools like Unreal Engine, Visual Studio, DirectX dev kits, and more. Developers can also use the virtual machines to quickly create custom workstations, build servers, etc.
Also re-introduced was the [email protected] program, which was made generally available with today’s announcement. The program had been first released back in December of 2021 in invitation-only beta form. The free program, which (as one might guess by its name) is geared toward independent developers, offers a range of cost-free tools such as training modules, a free Azure PlayFab Standard Plan for up to 2 years, and Up to $5,000 in Azure credits, in addition to official support from Microsoft’s cloud and gaming experts.
This isn’t Azure’s first foray into the realm of gaming, however, as Microsoft’s xCloud game streaming service utilizes Azure.