Everybody's favourite monopoly, Microsoft, has announced that it has bought NetGames USA, makers of the ngStats system used by Unreal Tournament, as well as the ngTourney system that has powered recent CPL professional gaming events in America. NetGames USA's technology now will be used by Microsoft's "Zone" gaming service, as well as in future Microsoft published games, starting with MechWarrior 4.
Microsoft also say that the technology will be "integrated into Microsoft's software development kit (SDK) for PC game developers", presumably as part of DirectX 9. This could lead to wider support for ngStats (or could that be DirectPlay Stats?) in future games, as well as bringing the system to Microsoft's X-Box console, which is due for release in Autumn 2001.
In related news, former NetGames USA President Craig Sparks has said in an interview on Stomped that the buy-out should not effect support for Unreal Tournament's ngWorldStats. Meanwhile Angel Munoz of the CPL has said in a post to the CPL forums that they no longer have access to the ngTourney system, and will instead be developing their "own proprietary tournament management software".