Amazon, Google, Facebook Introduce New Tools for Game Developers

At the Game Developers Conference 2018 today, a bunch of new cloud-based services for game development has been introduced. Amazon and Google are coming out with big new cloud-based services to help developers build games quickly and more efficiently.

Amazon’s new GameOn service is a set of APIs based on Amazon Web Services that allows developers to build engaging experiences into their games without needing build all the complex infrastructure to support the features. Along with providing basic features such as the backend required for leaderboards, competitions, and other in-game features, Amazon is taking things to the next-level with a key differentiating feature: real-world prizes.

Games using Amazon’s GameOn service can give out real-world prizes to users, delivered by Amazon, paid for by the game developers. It’s an interesting feature that could take off and become a tradition if big games start using Amazon’s tech. But GameOn is more for games built by indie developers, so don’t expect something like Fornite to be using this anytime soon. Microsoft recently acquired a similar service, though the company is likely yet to finish the acquisition, and it’s something which will be coming to Azure in the future.

Google and Facebook, on the other hand, are also coming out with new tools for developers. Google earlier introduced new instant games for the Play Store, and the company also launched a new service for hosting multiplayer game servers last week, along with a new Google Maps API to enable developers to offer rich location-based experiencing using Google’s Maps data. Facebook is taking an entirely different approach with a new Games SDK that enables developers to build Facebook Live, Login, Friend Finder, Analytics. as well as Facebook Live-powered rewards for viewers into games. The social network giant is putting emphasis on its Live platform here, but I doubt it’ll get much traction when the company is going head-to-head with services like Twitch.

Microsoft notably didn’t announce a lot of things at GDC this year. The company introduced its new DirectX Raytracing tech today which seems really impressive from a technical point of view, but the company isn’t introducing any consumer-focused tools for game developers as of yet. That’s something which will hopefully change by the time the company is done finalising the acquisition of cloud gaming backend platform PlayFab, though.

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  • jrickel96

    19 March, 2018 - 5:43 pm

    <p>The prizing on Amazon is problematic, depending on the client you work with. It's going to funnel user data to Amazon. Many of the clients I build games for that feature leaderboards, etc and do have prizing will not be big fans of sharing user data and they'll have to get their legal departments on it to even consider it. </p><p><br></p><p>Many of the announced features have limited application. Most of these style of games are made for specific clients. How much location data does Google keep? How much customer data does Amazon keep? How private is usage via login, etc?</p><p><br></p><p>There are already services that handle these things that exist independent of Amazon, Google, etc. One key feature is they keep things private. Many big clients like that. For instance, MLB flatly refuses to allow any users of the Ballpark app to have personal data shared with any third party – and that includes for any games running inside that app. Most pro sports teams are the same, with a few exceptions. Those that do it differently only share customer data with select third party sponsors and they have legal documentation for each one of those that is explicit. </p><p><br></p><p>Seems like a play to try to get data from gaming. May work for regular downloaded games that people play on their phones, but likely only in a limited way.</p>

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