Big-name video game companies are beginning to experiment with cloud-based gaming on a regular basis. Although the required technology and infrastructure might not be available in every location, that hasn't stopped publishers like Ubisoft from testing the waters with special Japan-only cloud games including Assassin's Creed Odyssey for the Switch.
Apparently, EA is now also working on cloud technology. In an announcement on Medium, EA's Chief Technology Officer Ken Moss revealed the new platform Project Atlas. It's being designed to harness cloud computing and artificial intelligence. EA has so much faith in the project, there is more than one thousand staff involved. Here's what Moss had to say:
Today, I want to share an inside view of what we’re working on to bring together some of the most transformative technologies into an integrated “engine + services” game development platform. A platform designed from the core to harness the massive power of cloud computing and artificial intelligence and putting it into the hands of game makers in a powerful, easy to use, one-stop experience.
We’re calling this Project Atlas and we believe in it so much that we have over 1,000 EA employees working on building it every day, and dozens of studios around the world contributing their innovations, driving priorities, and already using many of the components.
Project Atlas is designed to seamlessly converge EA’s Frostbite game engine and game services as well as artificial intelligence — giving rise to a new game development platform, optimized for a cloud-enabled world. This will be a fully integrated platform, capable of building the scalable, social, and large-scale experiences of the future. So, while in the past, features like cloud hosting, matchmaking, marketplace, data, AI, achievements, and social were separate from the development tools in the engine, the Project Atlas platform will be able to implement all of these services natively within a unified solution
Moss went on to clarify what exactly cloud gaming meant by EA's standards:
We’re referring to a game that resides on an EA server rather than on the gamer’s PC or mobile device. The gamer enters the game by installing a thin client that can access EA’s servers where the games are running. We’ve been developing software that utilizes the cloud to remotely process and stream blockbuster, multiplayer HD games with the lowest possible latency, and also to unlock even more possibilities for dynamic social and cross-platform play. Beyond that, we’re investing in cloud gaming to enable deeper personalization, and to eventually create a world full of user generated content — blurring the lines between the discrete domains of game engines and game services. In fact, it is the merging of these two formerly distinct domains, along with the paradigm of cloud gaming, that is a key driver of the next-generation unified platform from EA.
Admittedly, it all sounds incredibly ambitious. We're also left wondering if EA would ever extend support to console. If you'd like to read more about it, check out the entire post. Later in the discussion, Moss talks about how to "unlock creativity" with the assistance of artificial intelligence.
What do you think about EA moving towards a cloud-based future? Is this the video game future you envisioned? Tell us below.