So what is this Xbox Live Cloud stuff then?
Microsoft has a cloud service called Azure (itís a real thing Ė you can go on their website right now and pay for servers and use them to run whatever you want). Microsoft realized that they could use that technology to solve our problem.
So they built this powerful system to let us create all sorts of tasks that they will run for us, and it can scale up and down automatically as players come and go. We can upload new programs for them to run and they handle the deployment for us. And theyíll host our game servers for other platforms, too! Titanfall uses the Xbox Live Cloud to run dedicated servers for PC, Xbox One, and Xbox 360.
But itís not just for dedicated servers Ė Microsoft thought about our problem in a bigger way. Developers arenít going to just want dedicated servers Ė theyíll have all kinds of features that need a server to do some kind of work to make games better. Look at Forza 5, which studies your driving style in order to create custom AI that behaves like you do. Thatís totally different from what Titanfall uses it for, and itís really cool! So itís not accurate to say that the Xbox Live Cloud is simply a system for running dedicated servers Ė it can do a lot more than that.
How is this different from other dedicated servers?
With the Xbox Live Cloud, we donít have to worry about estimating how many servers weíll need on launch day. We donít have to find ISPs all over the globe and rent servers from each one. We donít have to maintain the servers or copy new builds to every server. That lets us focus on things that make our game more fun. And best yet, Microsoft has datacenters all over the world, so everyone playing our game should have a consistent, low latency connection to their local datacenter.
Most importantly to us, Microsoft priced it so that itís far more affordable than other hosting options Ė their goal here is to get more awesome games, not to nickel-and-dime developers. So because of this, dedicated servers are much more of a realistic option for developers who donít want to make compromises on their player experience, and it opens up a lot more things that we can do in an online game.
This is a really big deal, and it can make online games better. This is something that we are really excited about. The Xbox Live Cloud lets us to do things in Titanfall that no player-hosted multiplayer game can do. That has allowed us to push the boundaries in online multiplayer and thatís awesome. We want to try new ideas and let the player do things theyíve never been able to do before! Over time, I expect that weíll be using these servers to do a lot more than just dedicated servers. This is something thatís going to let us drive all sorts of new ideas in online games for years to come.