PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds will switch to Microsoft Azure for server hosting
Microsoft jumped on the 'PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds' bandwagon several months ago to act as the publisher and provide funds to create an Xbox One version of the game. Given the promotional hype that Microsoft built around the game starting back at Gamescom 2017, it is only logical that they would want to integrate the hugely successful game with their services in other ways.
During Microsoft's latest quarterly earnings call, CEO Satya Nadella announced that Player Unknown's: Battlegrounds would be transferring their hosting from Amazon Web Services (AWS) over to Microsoft Azure. Windows Central quoted Nadella as saying "Gaming pushes the boundaries of hardware and software innovation, with some of the most CPU and GPU-intensive applications and content, giving us a huge opportunity in the cloud. As one example, PUBG Corp., with the hit game PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds, is not only partnering to make Xbox the exclusive console at launch, but is also running on Azure."
Microsoft Azure is a software-as-a-service (SaaS), platform-as-a-service (PaaS), and infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) product that utilizes Microsoft's data centers around the globe. Azure is a primary growth area for Microsoft as they increase their focus on cloud computing, and it competes against Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud Platform, and IBM Bluemix (only in PaaS). It appears that going forward, Microsoft might aim to use their cloud services as a way to sweeten the deal with developers to use Microsoft as a publisher or to encourage exclusives for Windows and Xbox.