Xbox Game Studios, alongside Finnish studio Mainframe, is reportedly working on a cloud-based MMO that players will be able to jump into on almost any device.
Both Windows Central reporter Jez Corden and GamesBeat reporter Jeff Grubb have mentioned the project. Speculation surrounding the studio’s involvement in such a project was initially brought to fans’ attention during a recent episode of The Xbox Two podcast, in which Corden said, “I do know that Microsoft’s working with a studio in Finland, or at least I’ve heard they’re working with a studio in Finland called Mainframe on making a cloud-native game.”
“I have no details about that. It could be tied up to one of the codenames that I do know about that I don’t know the project information for, but that is what I’ve heard, that they are looking to make these sort of cloud-native games.”
As part of a GamesBeat article, Grubb says that he’s confirmed through independent sources that this is the case. The GamesBeat report says that the game currently in development by Mainframe is going by the working title Pax Dei and that the term ‘cloud-native’ refers to the fact that players will be able to access the game on any device.
If this is to be true, then it could mark a big step forward for MMOs. As Pax Dei will reportedly run off a remote server, one concept that the studio is allegedly exploring further is the idea that mechanics would scale in terms of complexity of device. This would seemingly indicate that certain in-game features would be more suited to different devices. Grubb gives the example that players could do simpler, smaller tasks such as resource gathering while at work on their phones. but then access more complex areas of the game, such as missions or raids, from their PC or console at home.
While news of the partnership hasn’t officially been announced by Microsoft, Mainframe’s website confirms that the studio is working on a game that looks to fit the bill. “Mainframe was formed by veteran developers in Helsinki and Reykjavík,” the homepage states. “We’re creating a cloud-native MMO, a vibrant world with new ways to engage and connect with our friends. It’s the game of a lifetime.” Despite the fact that few other details have been released about the studio’s MMO, the site also references the development team’s trip to Iceland, which it says has “the best design inspiration.”
We’ve contacted Microsoft and Mainframe for comment.
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Jared Moore is a freelance writer for IGN. You can follow him on Twitter.