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Wednesday, July 12, 2000
Microsoft Nabs NetGames USA
12:57 PM | Toby Allen | Comment on this story

After recently acquiring Bungie Software, Microsoft has bought yet another company, consolidating their aggressive move into the gaming market. This time around they have bought NetGames USA, the company behind the world ranking system ngWorldStats. Used by various games such as Unreal Tournament, Microsoft plans on incorporating ngStats into their MSN GameZone service. Of course this will mean that NetGamesUSA will also keep track of your stats when you're playing online games via Microsoft's upcoming console, the X-box. Here are the details of this acquisition:

Microsoft Corp. has increased its commitment to online gaming by acquiring Kansas-based NetGames USA, a leading developer of scoring, matchmaking and other enhancements for retail and Web-based games. The acquisition will enhance the competitiveness of games on Microsoft's Zone.com (http://www.zone.com/) and further solidify the site as the Internet's best location to play games with players from around the globe.

"NetGames USA is excited about this opportunity to bring these enhancements to Microsoft(r) games and Zone.com," said Craig Sparks, president and CEO of NetGames USA. "But the real winners will be gamers, who will be able to more easily find appropriate gaming partners and enjoy other advanced gaming features."

Microsoft plans to add technology developed by NetGames to select retail games currently in development, including the highly anticipated "MechWarrior(tm) 4: Vengeance," scheduled for release this holiday season. The company will also maintain support for multiplayer games currently utilizing NetGames' technology on Zone.com.

NetGames' ngStats(tm) technology enhances score-reporting features for retail games played online. These features include real-time reporting of scores and rankings, expanded tracking of statistics and automated organization of tournaments. In addition, this acquisition brings a team of seasoned NetGames developers to Microsoft where they will lead the effort to incorporate the new technologies into Microsoft's PC games, integrate ngStats technology into Microsoft's software development kit (SDK) for PC game developers, and work on evolving technology on a variety of platforms, including the Xbox game console, scheduled for release in fall 2001.

Currently, Mac users have an outdated version of ngWorldStats, with no word on when it might be updated. It will be very interesting to see what companies Microsoft will grab in the future, as they continue to make room in the gaming market for their future console.

NetGames USA

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