Unity, one of the most powerful and popular game development suites out there, is partnering with Google to make Google Cloud Platform its default cloud for storage and connectivity functions, including hosting servers and assets for multiplayer games made in Unity. According to Google, this support will come in the form of "a suite of managed tools and services for connected games" meant to make the development of online games of all sorts easier by handling most of the network management for creators. This frees creators up to simply decide how the network and the cloud power and storage behind it will be used, along with, of course, actually creating the game in question.
The Google Cloud Platform can already be used for game server hosting and other functions in Unity, though this is handled through Multiplay at present. Other functions and new tools to help manage things are in the works, and those are what this update from Unity and Google is focused on. The first functionality to roll out, which will be hitting sometime this summer, is an open source matchmaking project that will make it easy to match up players for connected gaming sessions. From there, expect to see automated game server hosting, sample projects, and eventually, an entirely new network layer within the core Unity editing environment that automates most server-related processes and makes everything from leaderboards to action MMOs a snap to get up and running.
This powerful suite of tools will make development extremely easy for most types of online games built in Unity, and may well lead to a boom in a gaming market that previously forced game makers to either learn how to manage a network, or shell out big bucks for somebody to do it all for them manually. The service obviously won't be free, but it will almost certainly be cheaper than many dedicated hosting services, especially since it uses the very attractively priced Google Cloud Platform as a base. As a bonus, developers who are already making or maintaining an online game with Unity will be able to move their assets and servers over to Google Cloud Platform seamlessly and begin using the new tools once they're released.