Google Cloud makes Game Servers generally available

After a beta release earlier this year, Google has announced the general availability of , a platform built to manage the underlying global infrastructure behind multiplayer games.

On Wednesday (19 August), Google Cloud for Games chief architect Rob Martin announced that the company’s Game Servers product is now generally available, after a beta release earlier this year.

In a blogpost Martin said: “As more and more people across the world turn to multiplayer games, developers must scale their game to meet increased player demand and provide a great gameplay experience, while managing complex underlying global infrastructure.”

He noted that up until now, many game companies have chosen to build and manage their own costly proprietary solutions or turn to pre-packaged solutions that, in some cases, can limit developer choice and control.

Earlier this year, Google Cloud announced the beta release of Game Servers, a managed service built on top of Agones, which is an open source game server scaling project that the company debuted with Ubisoft in 2018.

From Wednesday, Game Servers has been made generally available for production workloads. It will be free until the end of the year, although developers will be billed for the underlying use of Kubernetes clusters.

Google Cloud Game Servers

Google Cloud’s Game Servers use Kubernetes for container orchestration and Agones for game server fleet orchestration and lifecycle management, with the goal of providing developers with a modern, simpler paradigm for managing and scaling their games.

The company published a video explaining how its products can support large game workloads for an international player base.

Martin said: “By simplifying infrastructure management, Game Servers empowers developers to focus their resources on building better games for their players.”

In the company’s blogpost, it emphasised its goal to give game developers as much control as possible.

‘Choice is important’

The firm said that developers can opt out of Game Servers at any time to manage Agones clusters themselves and that they will always have direct access to the underlying Kubernetes clusters.

Martin said: “If you need to add your game-specific additions on top of the Agones installation, you have the power to do so. You are always in control. Choice is also important. Today, Game Servers supports clusters that run on Google Kubernetes Engine, and we are currently working on the ability to run your clusters on any environment, be it Google Cloud, other clouds or on premise.”

Elliot Gozanksy, head of architecture at Square Enix said: “As a Google Cloud customer for many years, we’re now following the progress of Google Game Servers closely.

“We believe that containers and multi-cloud capabilities are extremely compelling for future large multiplayer games, and Google Cloud continues to prove its commitment to gaming developers by creating flexible, open solutions that scale worldwide.”

As well as working with Square Enix and Ubisoft, Google is the preferred cloud provider for Activision Blizzard’s game hosting infrastructure, with YouTube serving as the exclusive streaming partner for the company.

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