Amazon launches AWS for Games, dedicated products and services for the gaming industry

AWS, Microsoft, and Google are all stepping up their pitches to game developers and publishers as the industry grows.
Written by Stephanie Condon, Senior Writer

Amazon on Wednesday launched AWS for Games, a dedicated set of products and services from AWS and its partners specifically for the gaming industry. It's the latest initiative from Amazon Web Services and its competitors to underscore the big market opportunity that gaming represents for cloud providers. 

Gaming has been an important market for Amazon for some time. AWS has offered dedicated services for gaming for several years, with Amazon GameLift launching in 2016. Beyond the cloud, the company has Amazon Game Studios and the game-streaming service Twitch, which Amazon acquired back in 2014. 

Still, given market trends and forecasts, it's no surprise the cloud industry is stepping up its offerings. The analytics firm Newzoo predicts the global cloud gaming market cap to surpass $6.5 billion by 2024, up from $1.57 billion last year. 

"Cloud adoption has transformed the way games are built, distributed, and played," Bill Vass, VP of AWS Engineering, said in a statement. "Game developers continue to accelerate their cloud journey, build games faster, and run them with continuous updates, while growing their player base and play engagement."

The launch of AWS for Games and other new services and solutions, he continued, should help customers address high-priority workloads while stepping up their use of game analytics, live operations, and artificial intelligence.

AWS for Games offers gaming-specific services and products, as well as partner support, for six areas: Cloud Game Development, Game Servers, Game Security, Live Operations, Game Analytics, and Game AI & ML. Partners in the initiative include AMD, AppsFlyer, Beamable, Databricks, Epic Games, Incredibuild, NVIDIA, Parsec, Perforce, Slalom, Snowflake, and Teradici.

In addition to this new initiative, AWS on Wednesday announced a preview of Amazon GameSparks, a fully-managed service built on AWS that makes it easy to build, optimize, and scale game backend features. The company also announced the general availability of AWS GameKit, an open-source solution that enables game developers to deploy and customize game backend features directly from a game engine with just a few clicks, reducing the integration of cloud-based services from weeks to days.

Additionally, there's new guidance for Amazon Nimble Studio for game developers, making it possible to set up a virtual game studio in hours, scale capacity on demand, and create content faster and more cost effectively.

The same day Amazon rolled out these new services, Microsoft announced the launch of new cloud programs and services tailored specifically for independent game developers. They include Azure Game Development Virtual Machine, which is meant for developers who want to test and build games in a production-ready cloud environment. 

Meanwhile, Google Cloud last year indicated its commitment to the cloud gaming market when it created a new executive role focused on Gaming Solutions.

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