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Google Cloud teams with Ubisoft for open-source game server project Agones

Companies invite developers to work together on enabling smoother matchmaking and multiplayer for games of all sizes

Ubisoft has partnered with a division of Google to build an open-source tool that will enable more studios to run and scale their multiplayer games.

Agones - named for the Greek word from meaning 'contest' or 'gathering' - centres around game server hosting and can be customised to the needs of any developer's multiplayer game.

In a detailed blog post, Google Cloud details how it aims to establish Agones as a smoother method of hosting multiplayer games, matchmaking and so on.

Most multiplayer games today see players connecting to a matchmaker service that groups them, usually by skill level, and that service instructs a game server manager to create a dedicated game server within a cluster of machines, which the players are then connected to.

This project replaces that cluster with with one built on Kubernetes, a Google-incubated project the firm says has become the "common standard for distributed systems across multiple clouds and bare metal servers."

Kubernetes and Agones simplify multiplayer operations, running everything in one place. As Google observes, games require more than servers - they also use account management, inventory, marketplaces and other supporting services. Kubernetes combines this all into one platform.

The addition of Agones also enables developers to run their game workloads wherever makes sense for them, whether that's on their own machines, hybrid-cloud or full-cloud environments, or in-studio clusters shared by a group.

Ubisoft is a founding contributor to the Agones project and will be using its knowledge of running AAA multiplayer games like Rainbow Six: Siege and For Honor to help build it.

"Our goal is to continually find new ways to provide the highest-quality, most seamless services to our players so that they can focus on their games," said Carl Dionne, development director of Ubisoft's online technology group.

"Agones helps by providing us with the flexibility to run dedicated game servers in optimal datacenters, and by giving our teams more control over the resources they need. This collaboration makes it possible to combine Google Cloud's expertise in deploying Kubernetes at scale with our deep knowledge of game development pipelines and technologies." 

Google observes that since the project is built on Kubernetes, it will also draw on the hundreds of contributors to that tech and the tools already built to expand on it.

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