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Simplifying complexity in gaming

Rob Martin
Chief Architect at Google
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Google Cloud Next 2020
July 14, 2020, Online, San Francisco, CA, USA
Google Cloud Next 2020
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About speakers

Rob Martin
Chief Architect at Google
Jacques Erasmus
Global CIO at Activision Blizzard King

Lead a global solutions team working with the world's top publishers and studios to design and build cloud solutions for worldwide gaming experiences. Ramblin Wreck (2x) - BS Computer Science, MS Analytics Georgia Tech. Multi-cloud certified - GCP Certified Cloud Architect , Cloud Developer & Data Engineer, AWS Certified Solutions Architect.

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Jacques Erasmus joined King in 2013 and is currently the CIO where he oversees all Corporate IT, Security and Datacenter Operations at King. Prior to this Jacques ran all Information Security at King as the company's CISO establishing and building the IS function. Jacques spent 10 years working for a startup called Prevx building a next generation Anti-Malware product where he served as the Director of Malware Research. Prevx was sold to US based Webroot in 2010 where Jacques assumed the role of CISO for Webroot responsible for all aspects of Internal Information Security as well as helping Webroot's customers build and manage their risk profiles.

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About the talk

Gaming consumption is rising as people across the world look for new and interactive ways to connect with each other. Join this session to hear from Activision Blizzard CIO Jacques Erasmus and learn how Google Cloud is helping mobile and AAA game companies simplify infrastructure complexity, scale games globally to meet player demand, and improve the player experience through data, analytics and AI.

Speakers: Rob Martin, Jacques Erasmus

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Hello everyone. I'm Rob Martin Chief Architect, for gaming at Google Cloud. Welcome to the gaming industry, Insight session at next on air. Great to speak with you today about how we're helping game. Developers during this time, gaming is the world's largest form of entertainment with roughly 2.7 billion people playing in 2020 and projected to grow to 3.2 billion players by 2023 across all platforms. The impact of covid-19 has seemingly accelerated. This trend has more people have turned to online games as an interactive way of staying connected with friends and family.

Video game sales saw a 35% increase in March of this year, compared to 2019. And many game companies are turning to Cloud to keep up with additional players. But there is a downside game developers who are used to working collaboratively. In-person are also seeing a Slowdown in game development and production. With many game, releases temporarily on hold, although we're all adapting to a new normal in different ways. Game developers are still faced with familiar challenges to meet player. Expectations,

first, ensuring the players around the world can enjoy low-latency immersive gameplay experiences II understanding the unique ways that each player interacts with his or her game and tailoring experiences accordingly. Third the need to continue producing cutting-edge cross-platform content to keep players engaged. Our goal is to help simplify infrastructure complexity the game developers can focus on building great games, we provide open source Solutions, and tools to give control to bring your game to life on your own

terms and Google Cloud. We're helping in three key areas. We help you build better games faster. We can scale your game to match Global player demands and we provide you with all the data analytics and insights, you need to optimize the player experience. Let's take a look at each one. First building better games, many game developers need to build complex services, like matchmaking from scratch or they're forced to rely on off-the-shelf Solutions. It Don't Fit the unique needs of their particular game

or approach is different. It's the leverage our expertise in kubernetes to build an open-source game. Services is the provide the flexibility to customize without having to manage the underlying infrastructure In partnership with the open source community and Industry leaders like unity and Ubisoft to build solutions, that scale. Let's take a closer look. Matchmaking are bringing groups of players. Together has always been a challenge for developers is games, become larger, matchmaking becomes, even more complex and requires

greater scale open Match co-founded with unity is a matchmaking framework that allows developers to bring their own custom Mass, logic kubernetes and a much greater scale. You bring the logic. We bring the scale. Open Match is now 1.0 and ready for production workloads. I encourage you to visit our website to learn more about how you can integrate it into your next big game. Game servers are one of the most important components for delivering exciting real-time gaming experiences to your players. That's why we co-founded

agones with unity is a batteries included. Open-source game server hosting and scaling project built on top of kubernetes. It's customizable for your games need. Buy containerizing game server workloads, I donate provides a new modern Paradigm for deploying production. Fleets of dedicated Game servers. Next, let's talk about scaling your game to truly Global audiences. Since the County's is based on kubernetes. It can run anywhere. You need it on bare metal on multiple clouds,

including our own reliable Global infrastructure. Are powerful computer offerings, such as computer optimized, DM's are spread across 24 Global regions, including gaming, hubs, such as Tokyo, Osaka and soul. We're also planning to open nine more regions across the world in the near future. This is the same technical infrastructure that makes low-latency experiences on stadia possible. So your players are close together. No matter where they are in the world. Apex Legends is a great example of a

global game. That leverage our core infrastructure and reach millions of players in a record amount of time during its launch with support from our game server. Hosting partner multi-play which has a hybrid scaling platform backed by Google Cloud. Our private fiber-optic Network ties are regions together. We have two tiers of network offerings and recommend our premium that worked here for games. That's because it keeps traffic on Google's. Private Network as long as possible. Traffic access to the public internet at a location. Close to the player. Also provide a smooth

gameplay, experience to reach your Global player base. You need a globally distributed Fleet of Game servers but with scale comes complexity is great for running Regional games. We want to make it simple for developers to run games in a truly global scale. Google cloud game servers. Now, and beta is a control plane that sits on top of a gonets. It Powers globally. Distributed, multi, cluster game server work, it also provides a high degree of flexibility and control since you still have access to

your underlying kubernetes cluster. As we built, powerful management features that provide visibility and simplicity and operating and scaling game servers for your Global player base. Developers running at going east in production can simply opt in to the game servers managed service by registering a donates clusters with the game servers API. We know that avoiding being locked into a specific provider is important to developers game server. Supports Google kubernetes engine workloads today and we're working on multi-provider support for later this year.

This will allow you to manage Game Servers on bare metal or multiple clouds. All from a single control, playing the scaling your game server Fleet is only part in ensuring a great Global game, many services such as leaderboards player profiles and so on rely on data bases, in order to scale, Well, we have a wide array of database options for most Gaming use cases. We recommend Cloud spanner. Spanner provides a no Ops horizontally. Scalable Global database that eliminates the need for your database administrators to manage

multiple shards, a single deployment of spanner can scale to support the world's largest games. Once your game is up and running, you need to optimize player engagement and monetization I hit game can produce billions of events per day embedded within those data points are insights, that can transform your game into a sustainable long-term success. Big wearing is the Cornerstone of Google Cloud complete smart analytics platform. It's a scalable serverless data warehouse that can help you capture

store, process and analyze, massive amounts of data seamlessly. Bigquery comes with machine, learning capabilities, built in so your analysts can access the data they need in real time and build a male models directly inside bigquery with familiar SQL. Bigquery ml his expanded functionality to address game specific. Needs such as K means clustering to build player segmentations, and Matrix, factorization to build advertising and product recommendations. Finally, looker provides an analytics platform

that unlocked. There's valuable insights from your player data for the entire organization by using bigquery and looker together, you can manage and govern your player data and insights in a secure unified and integrated platform. King is using this analytics platform to analyze billions of events per day from their hit games, like Candy Crush. This data is used for a variety of purposes including training Mo player models, they can stimulate play testing, this reduces the time. It takes the test individual levels from days to just a few hours. We

recently expanded, our relationship was King by announcing a strategic partnership with Activision Blizzard Tell us a bit more about how Activision Blizzard is utilizing Google Cloud. I recently spoke with the CIO of Activision Blizzard King dr. Rasmus let's take a look. IDOC we're incredibly excited to work with Activision, Blizzard King and thank you for joining us today. Thank you. It's great to be earlier this year relationship between Google and Activision. Blizzard can you tell us a little bit more about how that came about and how this

partnership helps Activision Blizzard achieve its goals. We've been looking for a partner for our Cloud infrastructure for many months and Google has been a key Faulkner to the gaming ecosystem, not only in Cloud but also with Google Play on our mobile outside and YouTube So if I, if I think about the key areas that we really are extremely excited about when we think about gcp, the first one is Ayo the global infrastructure and the scale and the latency that we get from using Google's premium networking, and then also all the AI capabilities continued investment in

central processing units, machine-learning, Etc, and really bringing all those capabilities into our games is going to move the needle for us, massively. And then when I think about, you know, we have many day to centers across the globe. And how do we get the best of both worlds, where we can have your and sauce in or data centers and leveraging kubernetes cross? On-prem and Cloud, those are things that Or Engineers are really excited about but then

if we look at you know, the philosophy of how your Google Cloud platform has been built with the approach to using open-source and really being a developer. That's very creating very friendly open source Solutions and really contributing to the community. That means a lot to us and we were very excited to be in a partnership with Google on this. And then lastly I think under the gaming expertise and Rob working with you and your team for the last month. So far has been extremely exciting and we can see

that the dedicated Focus that we get from working with a team of people that are solely focused on the gaming industry and bring best of free to games. That's fantastic. Thank you for that feedback and in our team has really enjoyed the depth of gaming experience that we've experienced collaborating with with your teams at Activision Blizzard. Shifting gears, a little bit with the pandemic affecting people across the world gaming, has seen an influx of additional players from people seeking to connect with each other house. The suspected Activision Blizzard

existing games. But more importantly, how are your teams in and game developers being affected by this? Well we've seen huge levels of Engagement across all titles be at PC, console or mobile. And if we look at like war zone, for example, that's being launched as a free to play Call of Duty, we had a 50 million unique players, one month offer launch and to be able to support that level of scale, return to Google to help us real. You rapidly spinning out more capacity mean in Old different locations globally and that's really helped us with the

lawn. So what are some exciting areas where you're looking forward to working together on in the future from a quality assurance perspective? I love the idea of using an AI in and machine learning to help that process that's going to be very exciting as we move into the future and then also having a single customer review of our date. A player that's playing a game on mobile or console or PC. And having that fool 360 view, understanding of the player in helping us to promote to that player. But also really helping us drive more engagement with the players

is going to be key and that's going to be one of the big initiatives that we're going to be using data for I going forward. Thank you, shock. We're looking forward to working together with all of those exciting initiatives with your team across Activision, Blizzard King and also a wide range of Publishers Studios and developers to scale out these Innovations across the gaming industry. So for more information on how Google Cloud can help your game, please visit the next on their site and check out our gaming sessions packages and further breakout. Thank you.

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Rob Martin
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