AWS for Games Blog

AWS announces General Availability of Amazon GameLift feature update

Today, we are excited to announce the general availability (GA) of an update to Amazon GameLift FleetIQ that enables game developers to add low-cost, low-latency GameLift servers to their existing on-premises or cloud-based server capacities. GameLift is an AWS managed service for deploying, operating, and scaling dedicated servers for multiplayer games. With this update, developers can launch low-cost GameLift servers into their AWS accounts and register the servers with their existing game server management systems to incrementally migrate live games, burst in-game events, or deploy containerized games onto AWS.

Since releasing the preview in April, we enrolled multiple customers, assembled their feedback, and are excited to launch this update into GA. Developers will continue to save up to 70 percent compared to existing on-premises deployments, with the same reliability and global scale of an AWS service. Configurations set during preview will continue to work in GA. Plus, we built a few additional improvements. Let’s dig in.

Launch dedicated, low-cost game servers with the flexibility to adopt the cloud, independent of other GameLift features

Launched in 2018, GameLift’s FleetIQ algorithm makes real-time predictions for which Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) Spot Instances are best suited to host new game sessions. Spot Instances allow developers to take advantage of unused EC2 capacity in the AWS cloud, offering significant discounts when compared to On-Demand prices.

The updated GameLift FleetIQ algorithm continues to provide developers with Spot Instances viable for game session hosting, but launches these instances into the developer’s account. This allows developers to use their existing tools and software to manage GameLift FleetIQ instances as new capacity alongside their existing on-premises or cloud capacities, making it easy to incrementally migrate and burst to the cloud.

“This update to Amazon GameLift FleetIQ provides developers more flexibility in adopting GameLift’s low-cost servers while directing players to instances that enable a reliable and consistent player experience,” said Vatsal Bhardwaj, General Manager, AWS Game Tech services. “Because these instances run in developers’ accounts, they can choose to deploy their game servers in containers and integrate with other AWS services, such as AWS Shield, AWS Global Accelerator, and Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service (EKS). All this flexibility comes with GameLift’s cost savings, fast time to market, and reliable player experiences.”

With GameLift FleetIQ’s support for 40 instance types and 14 AWS Regions, developers can pick the instance types and geographies best suited for their game and their players. Availability in the Beijing Region (made available by Sinnet) will soon follow.

GameLift FleetIQ’s GA comes with new improvements:

  • AWS CloudFormation support: Use AWS CloudFormation to create GameLift FleetIQ game server groups. Create a template that models each game server group, and then use the same template to create identical game server groups in multiple Regions.
  • On-Demand Only mode: Opt out of using Spot Instances. This is useful for short periods of time with new game and content launches. Easily switch back to Spot-Preferred or Spot-Only modes to save on game server costs.
  • New API to Describe Instance Statuses: Describe the status of instances managed under GameLift FleetIQ using the new DescribeGameServerInstances API. This allows developers to implement a status-based checkpoint mechanism before they place a game session on an instance. It also allows developers to orchestrate other resources that are tied to the instances.

How N3TWORK, Gameloft, and others use GameLift FleetIQ

Some of the world’s most successful game companies already trust GameLift for their games, including N3TWORK (Tetris) and Gameloft (Modern Combat 5). These are just a few GameLift FleetIQ customers today, and we’re excited to share more customer stories throughout the year.

“Having to manage enough servers to handle the load of potentially hundreds of thousands of players would have been a huge amount to handle on our own,” said Stephen Detwiler, Co-Founder and CTO at N3TWORK. “With Amazon Gamelift FleetIQ, we can quickly provision large amounts of server capacity, ensuring we have servers ready to go for anyone around the world. We don’t have to add additional staff to manage infrastructure, and this helps improve the bottom line not just from overhead, but also from server hosting by tapping into unused EC2 Spot instances at a discount when compared to On-Demand pricing. We have less to worry about and can focus more on Tetris and our players, while scaling with the growth of the game.”

Similarly, Nicolae Georgescu, Online Studio Director at Gameloft stated, “For Modern Combat 5, reliable and highly scalable game servers are essential to deliver a great multiplayer experience. By easily integrating Amazon GameLift FleetIQ and Amazon EC2 Spot instances with our in-house matchmaker, we can maintain complete control to provide players with well matched, low latency game sessions, all while optimizing costs. Since implementing GameLift FleetIQ and Spot, servers automatically scale with fluctuating player demand, and preliminary estimates already show cost savings of 20% – 40% in comparison to on-demand instances.”

Getting started with the updated GameLift FleetIQ in GA

This update is the first of several to address customer requests we have on the horizon, so stay tuned. In the meantime, we would love to hear from you. Let us know what you think about this update and what features you’d like to see in the future. Connect with us on the forums or through the usual social media channels.

Also, we are pleased to announce the launch of Using Amazon GameLift FleetIQ for Game Servers, a free, a 90-minute digital course from AWS Training and Certification. Available on-demand, this course will teach you how to use GameLift FleetIQ through hands-on explorations of demos and use cases. Power up your Game Tech knowledge by learning your way, on your own schedule, with free digital training built by the experts at AWS.

Learn how to get started »