Summarizing The Building Better Games With Cloud Discussion: Lessons In Innovation From Gaming

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#Cloud
June 22, 2021 5 min read

On June 10, 2021, Innovecs hosted the panel dedicated to the cloud as a key driver of the gaming transformation, setting standards for organizations from other industries. The event was broadcasted live online.

Will McKeon-White, Researcher at Forrester, Lauren Nelson, VP, Research Director at Forrester, Mathieu Duperre, CEO, Founder Edgegap and Billy Le Voir-Barry, recent CTO IBM Esports and Video Games participated in an insightful discussion about the value of cloud technologies for organizations and gaming industry in particular, the areas of application, capabilities and smooth transition.

The event was moderated by Doug Dyer, VP of Gaming & Entertainment at Innovecs. Being engaged in the gaming industry for more than 30 years, Doug touched upon real-life concerns and challenges game developers tend to have. The speakers complemented each other by sharing their views on the topic from different angles.

Let’s go more in-depth and outline the main points of the panel discussion.

Taking advantage of cloud

The conversation took off with Will McKeon-White defining the key benefits cloud technology provides for an enterprise. According to Will, three main ways or core processes cloud helps organizations with:

  • it can be used to help improve your hosting through geographic and resource scaling
  • to improve your development with development platforms and exclusive services integrations
  • it can help with game operations through real-time data feeds and data connections.

Also, Will pointed out that the cloud makes game hosting easier with easy global reach, rapid scalability, and automation. Cloud providers are now offering a game development platform as a service, platform services, emerging technology integrations, and even gaming-specific applications. Development platforms actually simplify the building of applications, allow to more rapidly, assemble solutions with containers and serverless capabilities, ensuring consistent environments that help support modern
application architectures.

One of the biggest changes over the past decade of games is the shift from large final game releases to something more along the lines of continuous updates. Even single-player games today actually rely on feeds of data, so developers can actually optimize experiences and add new content for players. Cloud providers are powering these creators with full analytics platforms ingesting real-time player performance and engagement data also available to providers.
Will McKeon-White,
Researcher at Forrester

Game world as a community

Doug gave the floor to Billy Le Voir-Barry, who has extensive experience in building cloud infrastructures for gaming companies and non-gaming companies.

I'm looking at technologies that allow us to move the game and the community closer to each other. For example, the cloud is very efficient, allowing us to move what we call to the final edge. The final edge for us techies means being able to produce and push a game as close to the community as possible, to enable that connectivity, to allow better interaction, to allow better gameplay as well as allow response time between myself, the gamer, as well as the provider whether it's a game developer or the publisher.
Billy Le Voir-Barry,
CTO IBM Esports and Video Games

As Billy put it, he is an advocate for a hybrid model allowing the providers to share resources with each other, depending on what resources are better. The cloud approach benefits the game environment as well as the esports environment because it allows you to share those benefits and resources of either AI or ML or development processes or DevOps for the actual studio, bringing everyone closer to each other.

The core business is the game

We are leveraging the cloud today in different ways. The first problem we were tackling when we started was around latency. As we evolved, we ended up figuring out that studios want to spend their effort and resources, and time on making fun games and making sure that you stay engaged as a player, that they keep generating revenue out of those games.
Mathieu Duperre,
CEO, Founder Edgegap

Mathieu added that a smaller studio wants to spend the resources on nice graphics, good storyline, and fluidity, make sure there are no bugs. Edgegap company ended up creating the overlay on top of the cloud — some sort of value-added services — which makes it very simple for studios to consume those resources and spend their time and effort where it makes more sense for them. The core business is the game, it’s not managing a lot of stuff behind the scene.

Cloud economy

Rendering is a process done in many studios, and it can be costly at times. So a cloud may be an efficient way to have the rendering done so you're actually deploying the economy of the cloud.
Billy Le Voir-Barry,
CTO IBM Esports and Video Games
We tend to see a lot of startups and folks just starting off with a cloud platform of choice and then from there looking to try, and figure out whether a more hybrid scenario is more appropriate for that game long term.
Lauren Nelson,
VP, Research Director at Forrester

Billy Le Voir-Barry suggested that the game world can be tied in very easily to different types of economies such as broadcasting, streaming, advertising. Companies engaged in esports want to understand what is going on in environments, whether they are marketing correctly to the right crowd, how they can boost their analytics — things that drive beyond just the walls of the game studio or the walls of the esports arena.

Cloud has been here for over a decade. You'll see significant adoption in manufacturing, in government — government cloud mandates migrate applications to public cloud platforms. The financial services domain is using the cloud heavily for things like fraud detection. So you'll see different use cases and scale of maturity and use cases across every industry. What's really unique about gaming and different types of video streaming is that they're pushing innovation and they're pushing the scale in which a lot of these services are being used. We look at the gaming industry as an inspiration to get the best practices from.
Lauren Nelson,
VP, Research Director at Forrester

Tips On Getting Started With Cloud

Our speakers provided some tips and recommendations for a seamless transition to the cloud.

  • Go through MVPs. Understand what the possible workload may be.
  • Feel free to reach out to various consulting groups. Get guidance on this journey. Look for a trusted partner to accompany you along the way.
  • Do your preliminary research of your potential partner in terms of available resources, cases. Find a helpful partner.
  • Consider сloud cost management. Cloud can be expensive if you don’t scale it properly, and if you are not effectively using your infrastructure resources.

If you want to get more detail on the experience of the speakers, their projects, and tips, watch the full video of the event. And don’t forget to tune into our next events.

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