Top Benefits of Azure for the Game Developer of the Future




The gaming industry is growing at a rapid rate and the revenue generated by sales of gaming-related hardware and software will exceed $235 billion by 2022. These estimates prove that game development is big business, whether it’s PC, console, or mobile games. Video games are a major source of entertainment for consumers worldwide. This high demand for ever more immersive gaming experiences has made tech giants sit up and take notice. Companies like Microsoft are focusing on creating specialized game development tools to facilitate developers. The cloud computing environment Azure now contains powerful tools that make game development, testing, and deployment easier than ever. Their advanced cloud architecture gives developers all the flexibility they need to create endless virtual worlds for gamers.

The Evolution of Video Games

Games have evolved from their boxed-good format to become truly digital, always-on services powered by sophisticated client-server architecture. Hosting and operating requirements of modern games have increased over the past decade, ultimately shifting over to cloud computing backend systems. The popularity of a game depends on how reliably the game performs when handling thousands of requests from all over the globe.

Creating a well-built game is like solving a complicated maze, there are a ton of factors to consider and the difficulty increases if you’re using a cloud computing platform. Anyone interested in truly leveraging the power of cloud computing for game development should try out Azure training and certification such as Azure Developer Certification and Azure Architect Certification; to learn more. If built well, a game with a cloud backend will be able to attract, engage, and monetize players on a massive scale. The following Azure features define the true power of Azure when it comes to developing modern always-on games.

Cloud-based Game Development with PlayFab

An increasing number of game developers are interested in creating connected games for PC, console and mobile devices. However, the cost of building and operating games via customized server-side technologies skyrockets once more players sign up. Couple this with the fact that online games often have an inconsistent pattern of spikes in resource-utilization and the result is a huge barrier to launch for small and medium-sized game development studios.

Microsoft saw this as an opportunity to make their cloud more game-friendly and acquired PlayFab earlier this year. This tool is a combination of services that help build, deploy, and maintain cloud-connected gaming architecture. Developers can access the processing power needed for rendering game art and code complication. The cost for this service is scaled according to the requirements, so you end up paying for the amount you actually utilized. PlayFab also contains game distribution mechanisms, all these advanced features integrated into Azure have transformed Microsoft’s already intelligent environment into a game-friendly ecosystem. The inclusion of PlayFab has raised Azure’s status as a developer-friendly scalable game creation platform.

Dynamic Cloud-Supported In-Game Interaction

You can add the dynamic power of cloud computing to your games with Azure. The possibility of using cloud services as the backend has changed the nature of games and game development methodologies. Gameplay has also evolved, games are not a solitary activity anymore, instead, have morphed into multi-player highly-interactive activities. This characteristic makes it essential to leverage the power of the cloud in order to create a dynamic infrastructure.

Enhanced Analytics and Game Testing in App Center

Testing and benchmarking is an important step in the game development cycle. The App Center provides you with advanced analytic capabilities that can fine-tune your game metrics.  You can test out your game on multiple devices, connect with beta testers, and distribute to app stores. Analytics can track this usage and monitor game crashes and other errors. The App Center lets you perform all these activities in a convenient manner.

Azure Batch Rendering

The modern gamer expects high-quality crisp HD graphics. This makes sense because great graphics provide a more immersive experience, and gaming is all about stepping into a make-believe world, the more immersive, the better engaged the user. This consumer demand takes a heavy toll on the development process because integrating complex graphics requires computing power. Azure solves this dilemma by offering cloud-based rendering services. Development tools such as VM (Virtual Machine) images containing popular rendering applications and plugins for desktop applications are just some of the basic features of Azure. Developers can create entire render farms using hundreds of virtual machines. Hardware options are also available for GPU and CPU rendering jobs. These resources are provided on a pay-as-you-go basis. That means you only pay for the resources consumed and application licensing is also included in this.

Build Games for a Global Audience

Online games require modern infrastructure that is scalable, flexible, and fault tolerant. Azure cloud provides all these and more. Whether you are a well-known development studio or a startup, cloud computing can let you serve a global audience. Leverage smart scaling services such as Azure Compute and Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS). Store and manage gaming data with Azure Blob storage, Azure Cosmos DB, and more.

Noteworthy Examples of Games Powered by Azure

Game

Developer

Azure Use Case

Rainbow Six Siege

Ubisoft

Rainbow Siege Six runs completely on the Azure cloud to deliver super-fast immersive gameplay to three million players around the globe.

Halo 5: Guardians

343 Industries

Uses Azure Cosmos DB to provide increased flexibility and speed to Halo gameplay.

The Walking Dead: No Man’s Land

 

Next Games

Already used Azure Cloud Services to power the game, but later integrated Azure Service Fabric and Azure Cosmos DB to level up the game performance.


Conclusion
 

These features prove that Microsoft is aiming to turn Azure into the game development platform of the future. This is great news for both gamers and game studios. Look into Azure certification and get ready to become the game developer of the future.

Get in touch with one of our Azure experts today. 

About The Author
Associate Instructor

Yahya Siddiqui

Yahya has experience in the field of Microsoft Azure, Active Directory, Exchange Server, Office 365, System Center, PowerShell, and Proxy Server /TMG/ ISA Server. He has worked as System Administrator and deployed Active Directory & File Servers.

Start Your Free Trial Start Your Free Trial