Tools firm CEO says new online platform alters the 'risk/reward' of production and investment

Emergent: ‘We’ve levelled the playing field for games developers’

The CEO of Emergent has told Develop his firm has "radically" changed how the industry can make and deploy online games thanks to its new dev tools.

Speaking in the latest installment in our series of articles looking at games engines and the technology companies behind them, Geoffery Selzer explains that via the launch of the Emergent Platform can "significantly alter the risk/reward relationship of building and deploying an online game".

Launched during Austin GDC two weeks ago, the Emergent Platform is available to studios on a ‘pay as you go’-style licensing plan, offering essentially leasable servers via a partnership with HP, and its own software in a combined package.

"One of our fundamental tenants is to provide a series of tools and services designed to take away the pain of building video games. With the rapid migration to online gaming it’s not only the production that is difficult, it’s deployment. You need hosting, bandwidth, DRM, server tools, server management, load balancing, e-commerce – all these different elements. In terms of traditional capabilities, this is outside of the core competency for developers and even publishers. If you’re developing your first game for online you’ve got millions of dollars of infrastructure to build. So the whole idea is to level the playing field and solve the hard problems for developers," he said.

Selzer added: "If you’re going to deploy an online game you have to invest in building the entire suite of tools and services you need – that’s a big investment. The other investment is the ownership of your hardware – how can you make a call on that when you don’t know how big your game is going to be? If you’ve going to build a nine or ten million dollar advanced casual game for online deployment you’re going to have to spend three to four million on top to get that completely up and running online if you include everything form personnel through to the buying of software and servers. Emergent Platform takes all that away.

"By reducing the risk we can catalyse innovation and creativity and allow developers and publishers outside of the top two or three companies that have that infrastructure to do this, to play in a competitive way."

The full interview, which discusses Emergent’s wider ambitions for cross-platform development and how it is spending a recent cash investment of $12m, can be found here.

Click here to read more about our series of game engine articles.

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