What’s next for cloud gaming?

The games industry is booming in the UK and the variety of games is shifting as mobile devices and popular apps bring gaming to a wider audience than ever before. From small gaming apps to be played on the commute, to immersive console games which can take days to complete, the market for games – and the opportunities for developers – have never been larger. At the Develop Conference in Brighton, we showcased how cloud computing is helping game developers transform their offerings.

One of the latest cloud-based games – Zoo Tycoon Friends – was announced by Fred St-Amour from gaming studio Behaviour Interactive and Matthew Roberts from Microsoft. Zoo Tycoon Friends, the latest instalment in the Zoo Tycoon series, has been developed to fully leverage Microsoft Azure. This is because, amongst many things, Azure offered developers the ability to significantly enhance the user experience. For example, one of the main advantages of the game is that it is able to synchronise player progress across PCs, tablets and mobile phones, meaning gamers can play from anywhere and on any device and pick up from exactly where they left off.

One of the main advantages of the game is that it can synchronise player progress across PCs, tablets and mobile phones
One of the main advantages of the game is that it can synchronise player progress across PCs, tablets and mobile phones

July 08, 2014

Another example of a developer that has benefited from Azure is British games studio, Mediatonic, which works with some of the biggest names in the industry, such as EA Games, Activision and Disney. Using Microsoft Azure, the company’s ‘Games as a Service’ model, which combines cloud computing and real-time analytics, allows a developer to understand a player’s behaviour across every level of its games and refine them to improve user experience and eliminate any bugs in the system.

Azure helps the team at Mediatonic to analyse lots of different metrics; for example, they can see whether users are struggling at a certain level, and then fix that. They also get a better understanding of which game works better on which platform, and what kind of games are more fun for different kinds of players.

The greatest advantage of Microsoft Azure is arguably its scalability, which promotes rapid growth. This has been a major benefit for relatively small studios such as Behaviour Interactive and Mediatonic. Ultimately, this is why our platform is gaining such strong traction with developers, as it enables even the smallest developers to compete on a global scale.

Azure offers developers the ability to significantly enhance the user experience
Azure offers developers the ability to significantly enhance the user experience

July 08, 2014

 

It is safe to say that cloud computing is changing the gaming industry and it is imperative that developers are supported in their ambitions to transform and evolve the gaming experience. To help with this, Microsoft offers BizSpark – the program which provides technology, support, visibility and community to promising startups and entrepreneurs at no charge. Check out the site to review the T&Cs and see if you qualify. Throughout the BizSpark programme, startup developers get $150 a month in Azure credit plus additional discounts for services used over and above this monthly credit.

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