At Game Developers Conference (GDC) 2022, Xbox revealed two new initiatives that aim to support developers working on games for the cloud.
The first, titled Azure Game Development Virtual Machine, is designed to leverage Microsoft’s extensive Azure network to provide a pre-built game development kit. This will include core game development solutions like Unreal Engine, Parsec, Blender and DirectX.
Per Microsoft, this will allow developers to boot up a game dev workstation or server “in around five minutes,” more easily validate their pipeline performance and save hours of downloads and configurations for game dev tools. Studios can also use Azure Game Development Virtual Machine to migrate and test cloud-native remote game creation.
The Azure Game Development Virtual Machine is now available in public preview to developers.
Xbox’s second GDC announcement, meanwhile, relates to ID@Azure, an extension of its ID@Xbox indie game publishing division. Through ID@Azure, indie developers will receive free tools, resources and support on cloud services. Specifically, ID@Azure will provide some funding opportunities, as well as a dedicated education portal, 24/7 support from Azure experts and more.
ID@Azure was available in limited beta in December, but Microsoft is now opening it up for general availability. The company adds that the program will be offered to any developer, regardless of which platforms it might be targeting.