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Google Cloud launches Game Servers, a managed cloud backend for games

Updated: May 27, 2020

Google Cloud today announced the release of the beta version of Game Servers, a managed service that provides game developers with the usual backend services for playing their games,

including multiplayer, in the corporate cloud. It should be noted that these are not game streaming servers but are only intended to facilitate the creation of game developers and to extend their backend services and management of their games.

The service heads the open source game server Agones, a project that Google and Ubisoft announced for the first time in 2018, and the container coordination platform Kubernetes. As Scott Van Woudenberg, Google Cloud product manager, told me, the team is also reusing parts of the Anthos service, Google's multi-cloud Kubernetes service. Although game servers can currently only run on Google Kubernetes Engine, the plan is to enable hybrid and multi-cloud support later this year.

Some game companies have already built their own fleets of internal servers, just like in the enterprise, having mixed cloud capabilities is a must for a tool like this. Google will also allow developers who already use Agones outside of game servers today to integrate them into the same ecosystem as managed game servers by registering them in the Game Servers API.

As Van Woudenberg noted, almost every game now needs some sort of cloud backend, whether for multiplayer functionality, to match or maintain static game statistics, for example. This is true for independent developers and large game studios. Ideally, the game servers will allow these companies to expand their groups from top to bottom as needed. Game servers also provide A / B and Canary tests, and in future updates they will include integrations with the Match Match framework.

For starters, developers still need to store game servers in containers. It's a very simple exercise, explained Van Woodenberg, for companies that already use Agones. Others, however, need more help on this, and Google is working with partners to guide them.

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