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Making game development more flexible and open with Google Cloud

March 18, 2019
Sunil Rayan

Google Cloud for Games Managing Director

The gaming industry is entering a period of tremendous growth.There are more than two billion players across the world, from competitive gamers to casual enthusiasts, and they enjoy games across a variety of platforms. Whether it’s mobile, console, PC, AR or VR—anyone can play, from anywhere, on any device. 

But they are not playing alone. Advances in global connectivity have powered the rise of real-time multiplayer games that offer shared experiences to players from all over the world.

As a result, these global smash hits are more than just games—increasingly they are becoming platforms themselves, with complex game economies and growing live viewing and esports communities.

For game developers of all sizes, these trends have incredible implications for the underlying cloud infrastructure powering their games. To operate a global game, it’s critical to have reliable, scalable infrastructure. Game services, such as matchmaking, need to be flexible enough to support cross platform gaming. And finally, data, analytics, and machine learning are essential tools for optimizing player engagement, segmentation and monetization, especially with the prevalence of free-to-play models.

Google Cloud is already powering many of the world’s top games on mobile, console and PC, supporting developers in delivering better player experiences. Our infrastructure has 18 regions and a presence in over 200 countries and territories, connected by our private fiber optic network, to ensure that game servers and players are as close to each other as possible.

For example, Multiplay uses Google Compute Engine to host game servers for Respawn Entertainment’s global free-to-play battle royale smash hit, Apex Legends, which has amassed 50 million players in the month since its debut. Multiplay prides itself on its expertise in delivering the most resilient, scalable game servers around. Together, Multiplay and Google Cloud deliver a seamless game experience for Apex Legends’ players:

“Our ultimate goal is to make it as easy as possible to build, operate and scale a game,” says Paul Manuel, Managing Director at Multiplay. “In Google Cloud we’ve had a reliable partner to assist us in achieving this objective, ultimately bringing more connected games like Apex Legends for gamers to enjoy, around the world.”

If your game requires working with bare metal or multi-cloud deployments, we provide that flexibility as well. Through Kubernetes, we empower you to simply run your backend services wherever it makes sense, and open source Kubernetes services like Agones—co-founded with Ubisoft—helping to make hosting and scaling dedicated game servers easy and flexible. To make it even easier for developers to take advantage of Agones, we’ve now made it available in the Cloud Marketplace, which makes installation and management available in just a few clicks.

We want to give game developers the freedom to build without being constrained by inflexible off-the-shelf solutions that put constraints on their vision—and that starts with building a stronger open source community for games. 

Open Match, our open source matchmaking framework co-founded with Unity, lets developers re-use their matchmakers instead of building them from scratch for every game. It’s designed for flexibility, allowing you to bring your own match logic, so you can build your game your way, across all platforms. Open Match was used to help create Google’s first multiplayer Doodle, which scaled to a peak of 500,000 concurrent players.

Finally, Google Cloud’s leading analytics and machine learning capabilities can help developers store, manage, and analyze the petabytes of data generated by hit games, and generate insights and predictions that can help grow your game. King, makers of the Candy Crush Saga, transitioned their data warehouse from Hadoop to leverage the scalability, flexibility and reliability of BigQuery in 2018, and created hundreds of virtual players, trained using our Cloud Machine Learning Engine (CMLE), to quickly gather insights that were used to optimize the game design.

If you’re attending GDC March 18-22 at San Francisco’s Moscone Center, please stop by our booth and say hello. Don’t miss our Cloud Developer Day on Wednesday, March 20 or our ongoing booth sessions at the conference to hear from Google Cloud experts as well as companies we collaborate with like DeNA, FACEIT, Improbable, Multiplay, Pocket Gems, Square Enix, SuperSolid, Ubisoft, Unity and others. They’ll share how they’re using Google Cloud to make great games. Can’t make it? No worries. Our sessions will also be live streamed and recorded, viewable here.  

If you attend GDC, you’ll also hear from other Google teams such as Google Play, Google Maps Platform, Assistant, and Android on how we’re working with developers to create great games, connect with players, and scale their business.

Let’s take your game to the next level, together.

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