Google Cloud and Ubisoft on Tuesday announced Agones, an open-source game server hosting solution specifically designed for multiplayer titles which is built on Google's automated deployment system Kubernetes. While the platform is far from the first dedicated service for multiplayer game hosting, it's meant to disrupt the industry by providing a highly scalable, non-proprietary solution that can be utilized by anyone. Kubernetes its the crucial piece of the Agones formula, with the newly announced offering being a textbook example of its primary purpose – accelerating the process of developing and hosting highly complex workloads such as contemporary multiplayer experiences.
Agones is still being developed by Google Cloud in partnership with Ubisoft and interested developers will be able to utilize it without any special effort due to its integration into Kubernetes' portfolio of extensions. The system's tools such as the Kubernetes API can also interact with Agones like they would with any other supported solution, Google confirmed. Creating a dedicated game server designed to be deployed using the new service is akin to authoring any other Kubernetes workload, with the recommended course of action being integrating it into a container image. Agones replaces traditional cluster management and server scaling employed by proprietary solutions with a Kubernetes cluster including GameServer Custom Resource Definitions and a custom-built Kubernetes Controller, thus seeking to deliver a highly versatile solution for dedicated multiplayer game servers. Refer to the gallery below for a visualization of how Agones differs from its proprietary alternatives. The name of the platform is also meant to be indicative of its capabilities, with "Agones" being a Greek world for "contest."
Google and Ubisoft's Agones partnership potentially paves the way for deeper collaboration between the two companies in the future, not just in terms of hosting but also in regards to one of Google's main focus points – artificial intelligence. Ubisoft recently started integrating AI solutions into its development practices with the goal of identifying bugs in its game code even before they're compiled and hinted it's prepared to embrace AI on a larger scale moving forward. Google itself is still in the process of transitioning to an "AI-first company," which is how CEO Sundar Pichai is describing its new approach to product design.