Over the last 10 years, the number of gamers worldwide has increased by almost 65% — from 2 billion to 3.3 billion — and is expected to continue growing. Online multiplayer titles continue to increase in popularity among players, with 54% of all active users on Steam playing online multiplayer games at least once a week, with an average session duration of 7 hours. This data compels game studios and publishers to prepare to handle enormous amounts of players connecting and playing together.
Fall Guys was one of the more recent titles that exploded with 170,000 Concurrent Users (CCU) on all platforms on launch day, for which Mediatonic (the studio behind Fall Guys) was not prepared. On one hand, it’s great that your game is popular, but reported disconnections, missing rewards and overall sub-optimal player experience translated into lost revenues and required Mediatonic to rethink their online hosting strategy. And there were plenty of situations like this in the past: Among Us and Pokémon GO, just to name a couple.
These situations signal how difficult it really is to predict player demand before the game’s launch, and it does not get easier when your game is live. This is because even though you already have an idea of the number of players you can expect, you still have the entire live game environment to manage, which requires in-depth game hosting knowledge and time. And this is truly a ‘boss-level threat’, if you will.
But worry not, dear readers, there is an answer to this problem, which is the game server orchestrator.
This problem has been recognized by multiple online infrastructure providers — AWS, GCP, Azure and of course, i3D.net, to name a few. Offering a bunch of different online infrastructure services for game studios and publishers, these companies have managed to ease the pains of the online presence that games require nowadays.
Some provide online management solutions without a real focus on specific industries, just tools for game studios and publishers to manage the server fleets themselves, like AWS, GCP, Azure and Tencent. Others provide full-fledged hands-off solutions for the gaming industry, like Multiplay, Accelbyte and i3D.net.
But even the proprietary game server orchestrators usually only support the service provider’s infrastructure, making sure you stay within their ecosystem. This limits the choices available to game studios. In addition to this, big players in the market like GCP, AWS and Azure are heavily focused on targeting every single industry out there, without bespoke features that target a specific marker. That doesn’t mean they aren’t good at what they are doing — they wouldn’t be where they are if they were not — but it rather means that their focus is spread over multiple industries without in-depth knowledge in one specific field.
On the other hand, companies that specialize in a specific industry are able to deliver better products, services and support. They know the ins and outs of the industry, the pain points, and customer requirements and wishes, even before they know it themselves. And what is better than having a partner who focuses on providing full-stack online infrastructure to game studios around the world? Well, the answer is simple — having a community that is happy and able to play your games together, without any hiccups.
With the gaming market growing exponentially, there are visible gaps in the market that i3D.net has filled with its full stack of game online services and namely the game server orchestrator.
i3D.net has maintained focus on the gaming industry since its inception. It all started more than 20 years ago when i3D.net’s founder started off by offering community servers to his friends, which quickly drew the interest of major players in the gaming industry. For more than two decades, i3D.net has been the trusted partner for numerous AAA game releases, collaborating with various publishers and developers, including on renowned titles such as The Division, FIFA, Battlefield and Rocket League. i3D.net continues to deliver hosting and infrastructure solutions to multiple game publishers and studios to this day.
With all the gaps recognized, alongside the passion and commitment to online multiplayer games, i3D.net looked towards establishing a global, agnostic and flexible game server orchestration solution. It supports i3D.net’s own bare metal infrastructure as well as the largest public cloud providers for all the scaling strategies out there. If that isn’t enough, i3D.net also developed automatic scaling and no-impact patching systems, allowing its customers to forget things like game server management even exist. That’s exactly what i3D.net has achieved so far and continues to improve — online infrastructure running without anyone noticing, all while the game studios maintain undivided attention on the amazing games they make.
Let’s dive deeper into how i3D.net actually does things and what makes it so special compared to the market.
i3D.net’s game server orchestrator is a symbol of innovation, combining high-performance bare metal server infrastructure with flexible multi-cloud capacity, guaranteeing compute capacity to game studios and accommodating any number of players. It does all of this while providing the necessary flexibility to game studios, without limiting their choice of compute, game online infrastructure or providers.
On one hand, a cloud-only hosting strategy is one of the most popular strategies out there, where the big public cloud providers lure game studios in with free credits, which in the long run, is not the most cost-effective solution. Cloud costs tend to quickly ramp up the deeper you integrate your game into their systems.
This is why i3D.net combines its bare metal server infrastructure with cloud capacity. Bare metal servers cater to consistent player levels, and cloud providers can be used to manage a high player influx.
The orchestrator is agnostic in its choice of cloud provider — you decide what to use, whether it’s AWS, GCP, Azure or Tencent. Through this, i3D.net’s game server orchestrator optimizes resource usage and ultimately lowers the cost per CCU for game studios, while maintaining all the necessary flexibility for game studios in terms of hardware, network and game online services.
Alongside optimized resource usage, not allowing you to over-commit or under-commit on compute resources, the orchestrater also self-heals any system faults. It does this by continuously carrying out health checks all around the world, even for third-party cloud resources, substituting ill-performing resources with performant compute, guaranteeing compute availability. This keeps your game online and your community happy.
What is more, it does not limit you when it comes to the choice of game engine, platform or even the game itself. i3D.net ensures you have all the flexibility you need to make great games without limiting your used technology in any way.
Furthermore, i3D.net’s game server orchestrator is fully customizable, that is, it does exactly what you want it to do. You start with uploading your game build into i3D.net’s proprietary Content Delivery Network (CDN), which then swiftly and automatically distributes it throughout all the selected Points of Presence — i3D.net has over 60 of them! After uploading your game build and/or utilities, you can create your game server fleets and define your hosting strategy by combining i3D.net’s compute resources with multiple public clouds (AWS, GCP, Azure and Tencent). You can choose one, or a mixture of them, as per your needs and desires. This selection allows game studios to determine the scaling strategy themselves, making sure there is never a shortage of resources, all while keeping your game online.
Once you have selected your scaling preferences, you can then create a deployment profile and select the buffer values for the system to maintain a safe number of game instances available for hosting your players. You can set the orchestrator to automatically allocate game instances when the player numbers surge at any time, resulting in no queueing times for your players when joining online game sessions. These buffer values will also allow you to automatically downscale and terminate cloud virtual machines once they are not required anymore, letting you optimize your costs while putting your player’s experience at the forefront.
Very few of the benefits provided by i3D.net’s game server orchestrator are matched by their competition, making it the provider of choice for game studios looking for an easy way out of the dark forest of the game hosting world.
As mentioned before, managing all of this generally requires in-depth knowledge in game hosting, but you shouldn’t worry about it; i3D.net has over 20+ years of experience and a proven track record in the gaming industry. The company has helped countless game studios launch their games, manage their online infrastructure after launch, and provides personalized advice on any hosting decisions that you face.
The orchestrator isn’t just about managing servers; it’s about forging unforgettable experiences for players worldwide. As the gaming landscape evolves, i3D.net paves the way for a future where gaming is seamless, boundless, and truly extraordinary.
In online multiplayer gaming, where player engagement defines success, i3D.net’s game server orchestrator emerges as a beacon of innovation and adaptability. The surge in gamers and unexpected player demand has challenged studios all over the world for a very long time now, revealing the need for a dynamic solution that can seamlessly manage vast player communities.
i3D.net’s orchestrator isn’t just a technical tool; it’s the result of dedication and passion for the gaming industry. With a mixture of bare metal and multi-cloud capacity, it offers a holistic approach that optimizes resources and ensures uninterrupted gameplay for your players. Flexibility is paramount, granting studios the freedom to choose, customize and scale without any constraints.
i3D.net’s game server orchestrator is a game-changer in the evolving world of online multiplayer gaming. It blends bare metal and multi-cloud capacity, optimizing resources while offering unmatched flexibility. Guided by over two decades of experience, i3D.net’s commitment to gaming creates unforgettable player experiences for over 840 million players worldwide.