Dedicated multiplayer game hosting solution Agones that Google announced last week in collaboration with Ubisoft could allow game developers to reach "the holy grail of scale-to-meet-PCU" but is just as likely to not end up being used by anyone, according to Brian Johnson, co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of cloud management platform DivvyCloud. Speaking from the experience of an industry veteran who spent years building large-scale infrastructure for MMORPGs at Electronic Arts-owned Bioware Mythic, Mr. Johnson said "the game industry can often have a DIY atmosphere" because creating scalable massive multiplayer experiences is "hard" and often requires one to experiment with the very bleeding edge of what technology has to offer.
The extremely competitive state of the gaming industry leads studios to strive to always one-up their rivals in any possible aspect, hosting solutions included, DivvyCloud CEO told AndroidHeadlines. Those circumstances are far from conducive for rapid growth of open-source technologies such as Google's Agones as a significant number of developers would likely prefer to build their own proprietary platform(s) instead of agreeing to have their rivals make and manage one for them, thus automatically ceding any possible advantage they could create in the segment. "While I think Agones is cool, I suspect many game studios will opt to build it themselves; I know I would," Mr. Johnson said.
On a fundamental level, Agones still promises to streamline the process of creating and maintaining a scalable multiplayer hosting solution and could allow developers that embrace it to deliver better and smoother gaming experiences. As such, the technology could ultimately bring "more stable releases" and (in)directly help improve the bottom lines of studios that end up adopting it, Mr. Johnson believes, adding that he still suspects most studios won't be using Agones going forward, with Ubisoft being one notable and obvious exception. Agones is built on Google's automated deployment system Kubernetes and has been designed and developed in close collaboration with Ubisoft even though it's officially being offered as a Google Cloud Platform-made solution. Should Mr. Johnson's predictions turn out to be correct, the platform is likely to be the most popular among indie developers, yet the majority of such studios aren't pursuing MMO gaming experiences in the first place.