New York-based game developers, Arkadium, announced a "strategic partnership" with Microsoft Studios this week. The deal will see the pair commit to developing and publishing an array of casual and social games across Microsoft's ecosystem. Matt Booty, GM of Connected Experiences for Microsoft Studios, claims the deal will help the firm "entertain millions of people" as it expands to a broader audience. Arkadium, developers of Mahjongg Dimensions, is well versed in creating Facebook, iPhone and iPad games, but plans to devote 40 to 50 percent of its team to building games for Microsoft's software.

Kenny Rosenblatt, Arkadium's chief executive, revealed to VentureBeat that the firm is planning to target Windows Phone and Windows 8, both built around relatively new development environments. Microsoft's Windows Phone Marketplace recently passed the 50,000 mark and Windows 8's "Windows Store" will be made available, in a limited form, in late February alongside the first Windows 8 beta. The potential for growth, combined with saturation in Apple and Google's respective app stores, are the reasons behind Arkadium's interest in Microsoft's platforms according to Rosenblatt. Details on the terms of the deal have been kept under wraps, but given the close partnership we'd expect to see some Xbox LIVE powered Windows Phone games in the future.