Microsoft has announced new social gaming functionality inside its Teams’ productivity and collaboration platform, catering to the remote/hybrid work atmosphere.
The new “Games for Work” app is only available to Teams Enterprise and Education subscribers and enables coworkers to challenge each other to games of Solitaire, Wordament, Icebreaker, and Minesweeper.
According to Microsoft, each game has a multiplayer option for up to 250 players, with additional support for those who only want to watch. This includes Solitaire, which by definition, is a solo game. Additionally, there are no advertisements because the games are only accessible to paying Teams’ subscribers.
Microsoft Casual Games, an Xbox Games Studio, created the new app.
Though it may seem counterintuitive to bake games into what is ostensibly a business product for most people, the logic is sound enough: coworkers have long played games for fun at work, whether table tennis or a game of cards during lunch. That drive to connect and engage in competitive interaction is undoubtedly still present for remote staffers.
According to Jill Braff, general manager of integrations and casual games at Microsoft, “Games promote creativity, collaboration, and communication in powerful and unique ways, and we can’t wait to see how the Games for Work app on Microsoft Teams inspires productivity and helps foster connections in the workplace.”
Microsoft intends to add new games to the Games for Work app, integrating with Teams on desktop and mobile.