Microsoft quietly launches new casual, online multiplayer game

Summary:Microsoft has kicked off an open beta of a new multiplayer game called Neosaurs, which it is attempting to propogate virally via Twitter and Facebook.

Microsoft has kicked off an open beta of a new multiplayer game called Neosaurs, which it is attempting to propogate virally via Twitter and Facebook.

The open beta commenced on December 9, according to the Web site for the game.

"Neosaurs is a new massively multiplayer RPG (MMORPG) adventure that you can play, right here in your browser for free! No downloads, no wait times. Click 'Play Now' to jump in the game and start playing right away with your existing Facebook or Windows Live account," according to the Web page.

I asked Microsoft about Neosaurs and received the following statement from a spokesperson:

"Neosaurs is a new game under development at Microsoft Game Studios in partnership with Camelot Media Investments (CMI), a global leader in the casual MMO space. The game is actively under development and currently in beta. We will have more to announce soon."

Camelot Media Investments is part of the Al Ahli Gaming Division, "now in final launch stages with one of the top gaming studios and Internet engine partners in Korea," according to a quick Web search.

"Al Ahli Gaming has invested directly with the launching of Camelot Media Investments and will have first look opportunities to the line-up of coming games about to be released. Industry experts have classified these new games as 'the new face of gaming,' according to Al Ahli's site.

Neosaurs is interesting on a couple of fronts. For one, it is evidence of Microsoft's growing interest in the casual gaming/social gaming space.

Microsoft quietly purchased the assets (though not not the people) associated with Vivaty, a 3D virtual world gaming vendor, earlier in 2010. And there've been rumors that Microsoft wanted more leverage in the virtual-world and/or social gaming space and that the company was making overtures to various companies in order to get a foot in the door.

(Thanks to MSNerd for the Neosaurs pointer this week.)

Topics: Mobility, Microsoft

About

Mary Jo Foley has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications, including ZDNet, eWeek and Baseline. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008). She also is the cohost of the "Windows Weekly" podcast on the TWiT network. Got a tip? Se... Full Bio

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