Ever since the COVID-19 pandemic came, the gaming industry in particular saw a lot of growth. As the demand for playing games went higher, gaming studios expanded their teams further in order to meet this demand.
Being valued at $162.4 Billion in 2019, the gaming industry has grown to $214.2 Billion in 2021 and is further expected to grow up to $321 Billion by the year 2026. It’s not that difficult to imagine how rapidly game studios might have had to scale up and the different genres of games they might have had to produce.
If there’s one thing that the pandemic taught us, it was that remote work in many ways allowed companies to grow while minimizing costs. This dynamic, was obviously, also applicable to game production studios. They were able to hire resources worldwide with employees and contractors working from different corners of the world.
The question is, how were gaming studios able to collaborate with entire pools of resources working remotely? Well, they evolved with the tide by moving towards virtual and cloud-based setups. Cloud technology has allowed many gaming studios to port their operations, databases, servers, and data storage among other things, to fully virtual environments.
Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud, Amazon Web Services (AWS), etc. are among some of the many cloud solution providers currently in the market. Below are some reasons why Gaming studios adopted cloud-based infrastructures:
With cloud storage, game studios no longer needed to keep on-site servers or data centers. Cloud storage and hosting is a cheaper option and of course, is also accessible from anywhere as opposed to one single physical location. In terms of numbers, oracle cloud users, for instance, are able to save anywhere between 30% – 50% as opposed to anything that is hardware-centric.
Cyber security is a very important aspect in any line of work; especially one that’s tech-oriented in nature. And as we are all well aware, technology is something that evolves constantly; this means their threats evolve at the same pace as well. An in-house hardware-centric server setup might not be able to be upgraded at such a fast pace. Whereas cloud solution providers are easily able to make upgrades that can keep up to pace with the constantly-evolving threats in cybersecurity. Cloud solutions also provide a variety of security features such as VPNs and firewalls.
By far the most obvious advantage, cloud-based infrastructures have allowed many gaming companies to go global. Gaming studios are now able to access greater talent pools and acquire a more diverse workforce. More talent means better products. Cloud services also bring with them automatic storing and syncing updates. This means that project teams can work on the same project simultaneously, instead of having to circulate updated versions time-to-time. The easiest example of this is game designers using Google Docs as compared to Microsoft word.
Cloud-based setups have made remote work a lot easier and faster as compared to how it was a few years ago. There are also other collaborative tools and third-party software that further facilitate the same. For instance, Azure DevOps has many automation tools such as Raygun which allows enhanced monitoring and JFrog which acts as a universal repository for Docker images.
Cloud services have another notable advantage compared to on-site servers when it comes to cost savings. As organizations scale up, you have the option of paying as you move forward. As gaming studios went up from the start-up stage to enterprise levels, they had the option of adding only the costs they needed at the time. These are typically subscription-based models and anytime a studio didn’t need anything additional, they had the option to stop right there and then. Common examples include user accounts and cloud storage size.
Even though cloud-based solutions have a well-defined edge over in-house storage options, they still have some disadvantages associated with them. Some of these include the time you need to invest in migrating to cloud technology, or not having the option of in-house technical assistance. Regardless, this doesn’t take the spotlight away from the benefits associated with cloud-based services for gaming studios or tech companies as a whole, for that matter. Some gaming companies that have successfully made the switch to cloud-based infrastructures and continue to do so include Ubisoft, Electronic Arts, and Nintendo, among many others. With many other gaming start-ups on the way, this industry is in for a lot of growth.