Meeting Adam Smith, Senior Sales Manager – Games at Amazon Web Services in one of the many corridors at a huge conference like AWS Re:Invent is like finding an easter egg. It is both fun and surprising to grab a few minutes to chat with him as he gives a preview on how weapons like Cloud, latency, 5G, Silicon and proximity are helping the gaming segment to level up like never before. Will it be GGWP (Good Game, Well Played) for AWS? Let us hunt it out.
What is the significance of the gaming industry for AWS, especially Cloud gaming?
We provide tools enabling game developers, whether small indie creators or major players, to elevate their games. AWS offers a range of tools and technologies for Cloud gaming developers to create exceptional experiences, bringing solutions and practices to differentiate these entities.
"As more and more immersive experiences come in media and entertainment, and linear TV areas, Cloud will become all the more beautiful."
AWS has recently collaborated with Immutable. Anything you can share on that?
Our collaboration with Immutable aims to ensure that all developers have comprehensive infrastructure support, whether they are involved in standard games or Web 3. Immutable helps us fill that part in Web 3 space. Immutable plays a crucial role in the Web 3 space, where we will continue to develop the technology that customer asks for. We will continue to bring the best compute, storage and networking out there.
How are gaming enterprises different from traditional enterprises?
Interestingly, in recent years, traditional enterprises have embraced a lot of gaming technology. For instance, Emirates uses it for training, and media and entertainment clients apply it in various business areas. Many cloud-based VFX workloads tap the advantage of low latency and game-engine technology too.
How much is 5G changing this space? Are adjacency, proximity, and availability zones more critical in gaming now, given the need for negligible latency?
Wavelength and Local zones are designed to bring compute capacity to markets around the world. Today, players can connect to anyone with the power of 5G. We bring that experience close to players demanding high levels of connectedness.
Will latency become a competitive differentiator or a staple in gaming as we move into a post-5G world? Any thoughts on India here?
There are games that players play from the East Coast to the West Coast. We can help gaming companies introduce a new region without any issues with servers across either coast. Overall, we are seeing workloads that were set in on-premise environments being moved to the Cloud. Latency can bring near-time responsiveness. It starts in the early part of a game developer’s lifecycle. Story-telling is now open to everyone irrespective of geographic boundaries.
Many OTT players are considering a move to gaming. How will the availability or latency angle play out for them?
Well, Riot is doing the opposite and it has been a great partner. We love working with them and supporting their strategy. Netflix is also one of our customers. We are happy to be a part of what they are building. As more and more immersive experiences come in media and entertainment, and linear TV areas, Cloud will become all the more beautiful. It can allow one player to work with similar resources as another one.
AWS offers tools and technologies for Cloud gaming developers to create exceptional experiences, offering solutions to differentiate these entities.
About latency, it is not the only factor that is important. Performance is also important. AWS has been working for the last five years on chips to boost it. This year it was Graviton4, which Epic Games has tested and called the fastest chip ever tested. Graviton is powering a new direction. Game developers can find new ways to surprise and delight with boundary-pushing technologies.
Would custom-silicon give a pivot to the gaming industry which has been so reliant on GPUs so far?
Gaming has been using GPUs in a variety of areas. The performance that we bring with Trainium and Inferentia is a good advantage as it also achieves lower costs. That allows game developers to choose the right instance for their application and gives them a wide choice. We also work with Nvidia on
Do availability zones affect customer choice?
We have 102 availability zones which is a strong factor in how we approach gaming architecture and space. Our local zones and regions are strong differentiators.
Who are your favourite customers?
Riot, known for its League of Legends has been a long-time customer. It will exit its final data centre as part of a multi-year transition in 2024. Then there is Epic Games and more. All game developers are building experiences with us without having to worry about scaling to millions and billions of players.
Senior Sales Manager – Games, Amazon Web Services
By Pratima Harigunani