10 Million Players Strong, Thanks to Cloud Gaming

At one of the largest gaming conventions in the United States, we partnered with SiliconANGLE to highlight the latest and greatest in online gaming. In this interview, we caught up with Matt Firor, Game Director at ZeniMax Online Studios. Find out what Matt had to say about one of the most popular open world fantasy video games on the market. (Check out the rest of our gaming expert series here).

Matt Firor is a Game Director for one of the most popular online role-playing video game series.

Since its inception, the game series has attracted a massive following of 10 million players from around the world. At any given time, multiple thousands of users are fighting battles, conquering challenges, and completing missions. Creating this robust gaming platform takes powerful technology that can capture, preserve, access, and transform data at scale.

The technology driving the rise of online gaming? The cloud. To find out more, we sat down with Matt to learn about the technology and infrastructure needed to run today’s biggest online video games. Here are a few insights from his interview:

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Video Game Development before the Cloud

“We were right at the edge of when cloud technology was becoming available, but it wasn’t quite there yet when we were making all the important launch decisions. So, we built our own private clouds.”- Matt Firor

Before the cloud, video game development was labor intensive because development and testing was done on hardware. Since the mid-2000s, however, cloud computing has drastically increased in capacity and lowered in cost. In addition, hardware has moved from physical devices to virtual environments.

Handling Massive Amounts of Online Gamers

“We’ve gotten up to 500,000 concurring users on our tech, so it’s really robust. And the cool thing is that it hides the server structure from the players. So, they just make a decision: do they want to play in North America or Europe?”- Matt Firor

For any video game with a large following to survive, it has to work at scale. Sometimes, that means building a custom gaming infrastructure to run the game. That’s exactly what Matt and his team have done. To power his video game studio’s massively multiplayer online role-playing game, they have built private clouds in both Europe and North America.

Develop and Deploy, All in the Cloud

“Now, you can start developing in the cloud. And then, when you launch, you just get more of it from whatever cloud provider that you’re using… You can solve all the problems in a cloud solution and then deploy either privately or publicly.” – Matt Firor

One major advantage of the cloud for video game developers has been flexibility. Developers can tune their cloud instance for capacity, performance, and a host of other factors. Matt and his team have found that they can centralize all their efforts to create, test, and launch video games by using the cloud. The end result is a higher quality video game that can increase the reputation of video game studio brands and provide seamless gameplay for players.

With cloud computing, online video games are tapping into the power of data to create incredible video games that fans love.



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