Microsoft’s considerable investment in cloud computing will power a new breed of console games.
That’s not the message coming from Microsoft itself but instead the thoughts of Respawn Entertainment, the team behind Xbox One, Xbox 360 and PC outing Titanfall.
“They built this powerful system to let us create all sorts of tasks that they will run for us, and it can scale up and down automatically as players come and go,” an article on the Respawn website explained.
“And they’ll host our game servers for other platforms, too! Titanfall uses the Xbox Live Cloud to run dedicated servers for PC, Xbox One, and Xbox 360. But it’s not just for dedicated servers – Microsoft thought about our problem in a bigger way. Developers aren’t going to just want dedicated servers – they’ll have all kinds of features that need a server to do some kind of work to make games better.
“Look at Forza 5, which studies your driving style in order to create custom AI that behaves like you do. That’s totally different from what Titanfall uses it for, and it’s really cool.”
As well as the creative opportunities the Xbox Cloud offers, it also makes cold, hard business sense for developers to exploit it.
“With the Xbox Live Cloud, we don’t have to worry about estimating how many servers we’ll need on launch day,” it added. “We don’t have to find ISPs all over the globe and rent servers from each one. We don’t have to maintain the servers or copy new builds to every server. Best yet, Microsoft has datacenters all over the world, so everyone playing our game should have a consistent, low latency connection to their local datacenter.
“Most importantly to us, Microsoft priced it so that it’s far more affordable than other hosting options – their goal here is to get more awesome games, not to nickel-and-dime developers.”
And in what will be music to Microsoft’s ears, the independent studio argues that these improvements WILL lead to advancements that would not be possible without them.
“This is a really big deal, and it can make online games better,” the piece insists. “This is something that we are really excited about. The Xbox Live Cloud lets us to do things in Titanfall that no player-hosted multiplayer game can do. Over time, I expect that we’ll be using these servers to do a lot more than just dedicated servers. This is something that’s going to let us drive all sorts of new ideas in online games for years to come.”