Amazon doubles down on cloud gaming with AWS for Games

Amazon doubles down on cloud gaming with AWS for Games

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Amazon Web Services Inc. announced today the availability of a new set of products and services aimed at videogame developers.

The new offering, appropriately called AWS for Games, encompasses a suite of services and tools in six areas: cloud game development, game servers, game security, game analytics, live operations, and game artificial intelligence and machine learning.

AWS for Games is the latest initiative the company has aimed at videogame developers, which have been a target for quite some time. Amazon launched Amazon GameLift, a dedicated game server hosting solution that deploys, operates and scales up cloud servers for multiplayer games, back in 2016. The company also has its own game developer unit, Amazon Game Studios, and owns the game streaming service Twitch.

With analytics firm Newzoo recently forecasting that the global cloud gaming market will be worth more than $6.5 billion by 2024, up from $1.57 billion in 2021, it’s no surprise that AWS wants a bigger slice of the pie.

AWS Vice President of Engineering Bill Vass said in a statement that the cloud is transforming the way games are built, distributed and played. “Game developers continue to accelerate their cloud journey, build games faster, and run them with continuous updates, while growing their player base and play engagement,” he said.

With AWS for Games, developers will be able to address high-priority workloads and increase their use of in-game analytics, live operations and artificial intelligence, Vass added.

AWS is partnering with a number of high-profile players in the gaming industry on the initiative, including Advanced Micro Devices Inc., Nvidia Corp., Epic Games Ltd. and Snowflake Inc.

As well as AWS for Games, the company also announced a preview of Amazon GameSparks, which is a fully managed service on AWS that makes it easier for developers to build, optimize and scale up game back-end features. Meanwhile, AWS GameKit, an open-source offering that developers can use to customize and deploy game back-end features directly from a game engine to the cloud, is now generally available. With AWS GameKit, developers will be able to integrate cloud services in games in a matter of days rather than weeks.

Finally, the company also offered some new guidance for Amazon Nimble Studio. Using that service, game developers can now set up a virtual game studio in a matter of hours and scale up capacity on demand. That should help them create video game content much faster than before, Amazon said.

“The cloud grows through economies of scale and one key driver of those is gaming,” said Holger Mueller of Constellation Research Inc. “So it comes as no surprise that AWS is catering to gaming vendors with an improved platform and additional services.”

Perhaps by coincidence, Amazon launched AWS for Games on the same day that its cloud rival Microsoft Corp. debuted Azure Game Development Virtual Machine, a new service developers can use to test and build games in production-ready cloud environments. Microsoft also announced the general availability of its new ID@Azure program, which is a free offering that provides tools and infrastructure for developers to build games that can run on any cloud platform.

Photo: 11333328/pixabay

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