Agawi teams with Microsoft to bring cloud-based gaming to Windows 8

By Kathleen De Vere Comment

Game streaming startup Agawi, announced today it is partnering with Microsoft to bring its service to Windows 8 devices.

Agawi got its start in 2010 as iSwifter, a YouWeb incubated company that streamed Flash-based social games to mobile devices. At the time, Flash-based games were much more advanced and lucrative than mobile titles, but as mobile gaming evolved many social game developers went into mobile themselves, cutting out the need for middleman services like iSwifter’s.

At the end of August iSwifter rebranded as Agawi, expanding its streaming options to include mid-core games and hardcore games as well as the Flash-based games it originally supported. According to Agawi’s press release users will also be able to play “popular AAA games” through the service in the coming months. The company currently has a userbase of 3 million players, and offers a Flash web browser for iPad owners through the iTunes App Store.

Under the terms of Agawi’s deal with Microsoft, Agawi will use Microsoft’s Windows Azure cloud platform to stream games to Windows 8 devices, a category that includes desktop computers, laptops and Microsoft’s upcoming line of Surface tablets. At last week’s Lumia 920 launch event, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer revealed the company plans to produce more than 400 million Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8 devices in 2013; if the OS is a hit, Agawi will be well positioned to catch up to its more established competitors in the game streaming market, OnLive and the Sony-owned Gaikai.