Head of Microsoft Game Studios Phil Spencer has always been a big proponent of the “power of the cloud” that has costed Microsoft a pretty penny to buy hundreds of thousands of servers, and should pay dividends with the Xbox One.
Today Spencer talked about what he feels is an important advantage provided by the cloud’s infrastructure in an interview on AV Watch.
I think you have different levels with the cloud. Large studios have a lot of experience and resources for multiplayer development. Think Infinity Ward making a game of the Call of Duty series. While creating their online features those studios would not need our support. However, when utilizing the cloud they will be able to remove from the picture the investment necessary for the server hardware to host the game. Not only they save on the costs, but also on maintenance, and they gain in stability.
On the other hand small indie developers don’t have the resources to make large investments on the servers. We can, without forcing the burden of the costs on them, give them the means to take advantage of our server infrastructure. Then, by making the game based on our servers, it can be created in a small office, with a small back end, by a small team.
From our perspective, in terms of the work of those small indie developers, games made taking advantage of a similar infrastructure to Call of Duty will be definitely enjoyable. Very interesting games will come from that. I look forward to it.
On that, we received a very positive response from developers.
While I’m still a little doubtful on the real effect of the “power of the cloud” for computing and other complex tasks especially since studios can’t count too much on the internet connectivity being spotless, it’s hard not to see Spencer’s point on this.
Having the servers available for free is a great advantage for developers big and small alike. We’ll have to see how it pans out, but the positives are pretty evident here.