RealTime IT News

Microsoft Acquires NetGames USA

Betting on the continued growth of online gaming, Microsoft Corp. Wednesday acquired Kansas-based NetGames USA.

NetGames' ngStats technology enhances score-reporting features for online games. Features include real-time reporting of scores and rankings, expanded tracking of statistics and automated organization of tournaments.

Microsoft said the acquisition would enhance the competitiveness of games on its Zone.com site.

Microsoft also plans to add NetGames technology to some retail games now in development, including "MechWarrior 4: Vengeance," scheduled for release this holiday season. NetGames' seasoned team of developers will lead the effort to incorporate the new technologies into Microsoft's PC games, integrate ngStats technology into Microsoft's software development kit for PC game developers, and work on evolving technology on a variety of platforms, including Microsoft's XBox game console, scheduled for release in fall 2001.

"With NetGames' technologies, Zone.com will offer a level of online integration for games that no one has ever seen before," said Dean Hachamovitch, product unit manager for Zone.com.