Google And Improbable Join Forces For Cloud-Based Game Development Initiative

by David Jagneaux • December 13th, 2016

The power of The Cloud is becoming more and more robust as time goes on. Network infrastructures are getting more resilient, internet speeds are more stable, and access is wider than ever. It’s a big reason why SpatialOS from Improbable is poised to be a major force in the game development scene as time goes forward and we adapt to the incoming wave of 5G-powered virtual worlds. Earlier this year we saw a glimpse of that with MetaWorld, from HelloVR. The same technology is also powering Chronicles of Elyria, Lazarus, Worlds Adrift, and Rebel Horizons.

Today, it’s being announced that Improbable is partnering with Google to leverage the Google Cloud Platform for SpatialOS. In a joint game developer initiative dubbed the SpatialOS Game Innovation Program, the two companies will subsidize access to the world-building technology for qualified game developers. The criteria used to determine qualification were not made public at the time of this writing.

However, also announced today, Improbable is launching the Game Developer Open Alpha for SpatialOS, opening up access to any game developer to use the platform and tools ahead of the Game Innovation Program’s full launch in Q1 of 2017.

While not geared specifically for VR creation, this should help facilitate development for all types of games and platforms, including immersive media. Given the high demands and development cost of VR, any and all assistance should be welcomed for the budding new industry of pioneering developers. MetaWorld is already showing a glimpse of the potential for shared virtual worlds in VR using Improbable’s technology.

“We set out to build SpatialOS because we saw what developers wanted to do, but were held back from achieving,” said Herman Narula, CEO and co-founder of Improbable in a prepared statement. “Since we founded Improbable, we have talked to many developers who have amazing ideas for new kinds of games they can’t currently realize. Like them, we want to create and inhabit realistic worlds where players’ actions have real consequences – but technical limitations have stifled innovation in gaming.”

Making games on this kind of scale is often expensive, which is where this program comes into play. Within the program, developers will be provided with credits to help pay for SpatialOS usage costs, including hosting the game on the immense Google Cloud Platform, development expenses, testing games, and deploying access right up until an app is officially launched.

“The future of gaming lies in the cloud,” said Google Global Head of Technology Partnerships, Nan Boden, in the same prepared statement. “This partnership is an opportunity for us to help developers to take full advantage of the new possibilities enabled by SpatialOS combined with the unique abilities of Google Cloud Platform. This is the first step in Google’s partnership with Improbable, and just the beginning of our work together to support game development and beyond.”

If you’re interested in signing up for the Alpha and getting started with SpatialOS, you can do so right here.

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