AWS for Games Blog
The Game Developer’s Guide to AWS re:Invent 2022
AWS re:Invent was back in full force in 2022 with over 50,000 members of the global cloud community coming together in Las Vegas for the 11th edition of the conference. With dozens of new products launched and hundreds of breakout sessions to attend, there is always too much for one person to cover in four days. This blog details the service launches, customer sessions, and partner announcements most relevant to game developers.
Across more than 100 service launches from Amazon Web Services (AWS) at re:Invent, these are the top services for developers to build, run, and grow their games.
Cloud Game Development
- Amazon CodeCatalyst (Preview) – allows rapid launch of collaborative development environments based on blueprints. Blueprints create a tailored environment with project planning tools, repositories, coding IDE configuration, and build/test/deploy pipelines. This is a great first step in quickly starting a new project and easily bringing developers on board. Watch the re:Invent breakout session.
- Amazon GameLift Anywhere (New) – enables game developers to host GameLift fleet locations on their custom hardware, allowing a hybrid deployment model combining managed and self-hosted fleets. The feature also allows faster local iteration by registering development machine processes as game servers for a GameLift Anywhere fleet. Another great use case is for PC and console games that require compute flexibility (Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service (EKS), hybrid cloud paired with on-premises gear) with ability to burst into the cloud. Watch the demo.
- Amazon ECS Task Scale-In Protection (New) – enables developers to protect long-running tasks from termination by scale-in events and deployments. With this feature, Amazon Elastic Container Service (Amazon ECS) Tasks running an active game session can protect themselves from termination by service auto scaling. This allows game developers to dynamically scale their ECS game server workloads while protecting active game sessions from termination on scale-in. Learn more.
- CloudWatch Cross-Account Observability (New) – helps developers monitor their game server workloads across games and game environments within their AWS organization. Previously, Amazon CloudWatch aggregated multi-region metrics, but this feature allows for aggregation and easy access for multiple games in different accounts. Learn more.
- AWS Compute Optimizer (New) – the new partner metrics feature allows developers to combine data from AWS as well as commonly used partners such as Datadog. This data provides suggestions for right-sizing game server instances on EC2. Learn more.
- AWS Local Zones (New Locations) – provides developers with low-latency game servers closer to their players. Now available in Buenos Aires, Copenhagen, Helsinki, and Muscat. Learn more.
- Amazon GameSparks (Preview) – provides game developers with features for building, running, and scaling the backend for their games. Now available in preview in the AWS Asia Pacific (Tokyo) Region. Learn more.
- AWS Application Composer (Preview) – enables developers to drag, drop, and connect AWS services into an application architecture using browser-based visual canvas. This allows game developers to quickly experiment with serverless backends. Watch the breakout session.
- Amazon SageMaker Data Wrangler Supports SaaS Applications as Data Sources (New) – provides game developers the ability to pull in multiple data sources beyond Amazon S3, Snowflake, and Databricks to augment player telemetry data to allow more comprehensive player 360 analysis and machine learning (ML) modeling. Learn more.
- AWS SimSpace Weaver (New) – highlighted in two keynotes, AWS SimSpace Weaver is a new compute service to build, operate, and manage large-scale simulations on AWS. Initially designed for massive real-world scale simulations, it will provide features for future massively multiplayer experiences. Watch the breakout session and demo to learn more.
Game developers had a big presence at re:Invent, including spotlights in multiple keynotes and breakout sessions.
- Riot Games – presented two breakout sessions at re:Invent. In this session, the company shared its esports journey from a stopgap solution to laying the foundation for the next generation of esports fandom with Project Stryker. In its second session, the company presented a solution that unifies cost, usage, recommendations, performance, governance, and security into a data lake and prescriptive reporting engine known as The Riot Act.
- Epic Games – highlighted in Dr. Werner Vogel’s keynote, Epic Games announced its 2 million MetaHumans milestone and RealityScan app launch on AWS. MetaHuman Creator uses Amazon EC2 GPU instances to support the heavy lift in data processing needed to create real-time digital humans. RealityScan, a mobile application that takes images from the real world and turns them into 3D models ready to import into game engines, is an example of emerging artificial intelligence (AI) tools that will further democratize game development by allowing the creation of unique content without a massive art budget. Learn more.
- Warner Bros. Games – highlighted in Swami Sivasubramanian’s keynote, Warner Bros. Games showcased how it leverages AWS to easily scale games like MultiVersus to handle up to three billion events per day at launch while using analytics to make data-driven decisions that influence business strategy and improve player experiences. Watch the video.
- KakaoGames – led a breakout session on its learnings after launching the massive multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) “Odin: Valhalla Rising” on AWS. It became one of the most successful games in Korean game industry history, with 400,000 daily active users and $2M in daily revenue. In this session, KakaoGames explained how to maximize game server performance, how to architect MMORPGs on AWS, and why the company chose AWS.
- Creative Assembly (CA) – a SEGA studio, Creative Assembly has been at the forefront of the strategy gaming genre for 22 years with its award-winning Total War franchise. In this breakout session, Creative Assembly explained how the cloud can help game studios deliver AAA games to large global audiences, how evolving game architecture can simplify operations, and how the cloud can help developers focus on delivering increasingly innovative game play.
Bonus Breakout Sessions
- Blockchain – blockchain technology continues to grow as decentralization, digital currencies, and digital assets mature from ideas to foundational building components for game developers. In this session, learn about key considerations for use cases that are suitable for blockchain solutions, key differences between private and public blockchains, and how these differences make each more fitting for certain use cases.
- Metaverse – metaverse experiences are creating results for 3D content creation, gaming, interactive events, and XR streaming. In this session, hear from a panel of customers across industries who use Amazon EC2 accelerated computing instances for metaverse applications.
In addition to AWS service announcements, AWS Partners also announced solutions to help game developers accelerate cloud deployments.
- Incredibuild (Cloud Game Development) – named AWS Migration Partner of the Year, Incredibuild leverages AWS to reduce production time of large game builds by a factor of 10 or more, enabling higher team productivity while reducing compute costs simultaneously. Learn more.
- Six Nines (Cloud Game Development) – expands capabilities with Studio in the Cloud, a virtual desktop infrastructure solution specifically tailored for game developers, including Riot Games and Deck Nine Games. Learn more.
- Spectrum Labs (Game AI/ML) – part of the Community Health on AWS solution set, Spectrum Labs moderation AI allows trust and safety teams to detect and remove users responsible for toxic content, allowing content moderation coverage to scale without adding moderators. Learn more.
While there was plenty for game developers to be excited about at re:Invent 2022, there were many more AWS announcements that could be meaningful for your business. We are excited to see what game developers build this year and look forward to an even larger gaming presence at re:Invent 2023. To learn more about how game developers are transforming game workloads and experiences with AWS, visit https://aws.amazon.com/gametech/.