GDC Expo: It’s all about the cloud

SAN FRANCISCO – Amazon’s cloud computing arm is getting more serious about game development with the launch of a dedicated AWS for Games offering that combines six different cloud-based solutions for building, launching and then managing games after they’re live. The company made the announcement during the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco.


Amazon’s announcement, following a similar one from competitor Microsoft on Wednesday, shows the rising importance of cloud computing in game development. Alongside many other technical and creative fields, game development shifted to hybrid and fully remote workflows during the pandemic, which has necessitated a whole new set of tools for managing complex game projects that span at home workstations and in-office networks all around the globe. .

Additionally, game development has become more reliant on the cloud in recent years, both to manage how games are built and how those games live on after launch, especially if those titles are online multiplayer ones that sync data across various devices, platforms and applications. Many developers are now reliant on cloud platforms like Amazon’s and Microsoft’s to manage game servers and player accounts, access analytics and deploy gamewide software solutions like anti-cheat programs and other security and privacy measures.

“Developers would rather be building fun, innovative games that delight players, versus spending time and effort handling infrastructure. They need servers that can scale with tens of millions of players anywhere in the world at the lowest possible cost,” wrote software engineer Chris Lee and AWS marketing lead David Holladay in a blog post. “Also, they need to optimize player lifetime value with databases that can process terabytes to petabytes of ever-changing data, analytics solutions that can access that data with millisecond latency, and machine learning that can translate insights into new, immersive gameplay.”

Amazon’s new AWS for Games product has six areas developers can tap during and after development: a cloud development toolset, game server management, game security, live operations, game analytics and game artificial intelligence and machine learning. Amazon says scores of companies are already using its cloud services, including Epic Games, Parsec, cloud gaming provider Ubitus, Sony and a number of high-profile game studios like Riot Games, Gearbox Software and Ubisoft.

In addition to its AWS for Games offering, Amazon is also announcing two new back-end management solutions, Amazon GameSparks and AWS GameKit, that it says will make managing the behind-the-scenes services for games faster and more efficient.

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