Cloud and Games: Overview of Cloud Technology in Game Development

Cloud gaming and the use of cloud in game development are two different concepts; both of them absolutely crucial to understand the present and the nearest future of gamedev. How well do you really know the difference? Innovecs Games has you covered! In this article you will find the necessary basics of how cloud technology affects and changes the gaming industry.

TL;DR: Gamedev studios can use cloud technology to move parts of their development to cloud, granting their engineers access to tools, services and virtual machines that are way more powerful and elaborate than what most companies have at their disposal locally. AWS and Azure are the most popular cloud platforms for game development. Their cloud arsenal is equally fit to create regular installable games, and to delve into the new genre of cloud gaming, with streamable games that are not only made, but also played via cloud.

Having your head in the cloud is very different from having your head in the game… Or is it? Cloud technology affects and changes every industry that relies on digitalization, and game development is no exception. What started as partial utilization of cloud elements, has grown into the ability of studios to develop, host and stream their entire games via cloud platforms. Follow this journey with us and see how cloud can either spice up your gamedev workflow or become its main driving force.  


There are hundreds of cloud services to use in gamedev, and all of them need a cloud service provider to operate through. Many cloud platforms offer a certain number of topical features, but the ones with the most impressive game development chops are Amazon Web Services and Microsoft’s Azure. Let’s take a closer look at both. 

AWS for Games

The most popular choice among game developers, this cluster of Amazon services approaches the game development process in six parts – Cloud Game Development, Game Servers, Live Operations, Game Analytics, Game Security, and AI & Machine Learning. There are 175 separate services, and AWS website boasts the largest functionality on the cloud platforms market. The most prominent offers from AWS are: 

  • AWS GameKit – a collection of backend AWS solutions and APIs for game engine integration: templates, preconfigured UI components, and other ready-to-use features. Developers can deploy them while working inside either Unity or Unreal, where GameKit works as a plugin.
  • Amazon GameLift – a set of services for creation and upkeep of session-based multiplayer game servers. This includes FleetIQ – an optimizing layer for game hosting that posesses simplified features of Amazon EC2, Auto Scaling and other management tools, and FlexMatch – a customizable service for building rules of matching players or player groups inside of a multiplayer. 
  • Amazon GameSparks – a service of backend management and maintenance. Ready-made backend features simplify scaling your game and remove the need to manually alter your server infrastructure. 

Azure for Game Development

The second contender for the cloud gamedev dominion is Azure. The battle for superiority between Amazon and Microsoft is the stuff of modern tech legends, and it takes the latter a lot of effort to keep AWS on their toes. So, what does Azure bring to the table? 

  • PlayFab – a backend development platform for creation of live games. PlayFab’s focus on LiveOps allows to change the game in real time, with no need to constantly roll out new updated versions. PlayFab also has a host of multiplayer services and solutions geared towards data and analytics. This triad of LiveOps, multiplayer, and data analysis positions PlayFab as “everything you need to build and operate a live game”.  
  • Azure Game Development Virtual Machine – a recent addition; this powerful cloud-based computer allows developers with weaker PCs to create elaborate and demanding code remotely. 
  • ID@Azure – not a software solution, but a program for indie and/or startup studios that grants small developers access to all of Microsoft’s top-shelf game development services and tools in Azure. It is an offspring of ID@Xbox (a similar program with access to the Xbox services) adapted to cloud. 

According to Innovecs’ Senior Business Development Manager Artur Lewandowski, Azure is known for its integration with Microsoft tools and technologies, while AWS is known for its scalability and reliability. Game developers might choose Azure because it offers good integration with Microsoft, making it a good choice for those who are already familiar with Microsoft’s ecosystem. AWS offers a highly scalable and reliable platform that can handle large amounts of traffic and data. It is also known for its robust security measures, making it a good choice for game developers who need to ensure the security of their game data and player information. 


Cloud technology can elevate any game development studio through expanded arsenal of services. We have looked at the most enticing specific offers from AWS and Azure. Now, let’s define the direct imminent gains for your workflow that are sure to follow, should you give cloud gamedev a try. 

The Key to Multiplayer

Development of modern multiplayer titles would be hard to imagine without cloud technology. Cloud servers allow games to host hundreds of players all over the world for a shared experience of equal rendering speed and gameplay quality. Game server orchestration is a complicated and costly process, but, when done right, it grants a consistently smooth online experience that will withstand unpredictable spikes in your player count 

Organized and Secure Game Development

Making a game in a cloud infrastructure unites and simplifies the collaboration of the entire team. Dispersed computer capacity means that demanding development tools reside in the cloud, allowing engineers to create code from relatively low-powered computers – a feature that the abovementioned Azure’s Virtual Machine zeroes in on. The resulting inclusivity of game development lowers the production costs and opens the doors to tech talent all over the world.  

Data sharing is another prominent element of game development that wins from cloud’s democratized access. Core development files move from inside the game engine online and become easily accessible for all team members at any point, while the cloud providers ensure that there is no detriment to data security. Cloud-based security solutions are especially efficient when it comes to iGaming, a genre dealing with sensitive financial information. According to a recent article from Retail Technology Innovation Hub, “The capacity for the cloud to scale up means a huge amount of transactions can be processed without any service interruption and improve security. (…) It can slow down deposits and withdrawals not only by the online casino itself but the payment provider”. 

Tool of Customization and Monetization

Cloud is a uniquely useful tool to gather your player’s data in a safe way. It can help the company create personalized player outcomes that make for more immersive experiences and build player loyalty. The gathered data also provides the company with information necessary for a unique approach to monetization. According to Anunay Kumar, Principal Architect for Gaming at Google Cloud, the ability to collect, analyse and derive insights from data has effects across the value chain of your game. It includes user acquisition, providing real-time offers, improving monetisation outcomes, and sharing this data across different units in your organization”. Safety is a key element of these processes, and the search for data insights must be very privacy-oriented 

While game development in a cloud infrastructure is highly reliant on cloud technology, the games that come out of it don’t have to be. This process is cloud-centric on the studio’s side. The type of gaming and iGaming that is fully dominated by cloud for developers and players alike is what we will discuss next.  


The type of gaming that relies on cloud elements the most is, of course, cloud gaming. Also known as gaming-on-demand, it transforms a game from a program stored on a user’s device to a streamable piece of content that the players can access online. It is the difference between offline access to a downloaded movie, and an online watch via a streaming service.  

Today, the AAA giants` race to deliver the most visually stunning experiences produces titles that are as gorgeous and realistic as they are large. As a result, sufficient space to run a certain game is a factor that affects buyers’ decisions, making remotely stored games an expected next step in the evolution of the gaming industry.  

According to digital service review platform Gitnux, the value of the cloud gaming market will likely go over $21 billion by 2030, with $2.4 billion spent on cloud gaming by the end of 2022 as solid proof of the genre’s financial viability. To gain access to cloud games, users pay monthly subscription fees, which ensure that all their data remains in the cloud. Game streaming platforms operate akin to streaming services, so the similarity between their monetization models is an expected decision, which also simplifies user’s adaptation process. 

Revolutionary Cloud-Based Approach to Game Graphics

The benefits do not end with outside storage of game files and players’ in-game progress. The processing of the game can also move outside of the device. This means that the graphic capabilities of a given console, computer or phone will expand as the cloud-based rendering sends back what is essentially just a live stream of in-game processes happening elsewhere. The player’s device is just a window into what goes down in the cloud and a tool to interact with it. This practice will inevitably open up the world of elite titles and make high quality graphics more accessible for all users. 

A key element of cloud gaming is streaming. As the industry expands, cloud game developers start to adopt different approaches to this process, depending on their priorities. So far, two types of streaming exist in the gaming on demand industry: video streaming and streaming on command. 

  • During video streaming, the game’s visuals and dynamics render in the cloud, and the player’s device receives the finished product as a video. As a result, device’s own graphics processing unit (GPU) becomes less relevant, and high-quality titles – easier to experience, which makes this approach more popular. The downside is its reliance on top-notch internet coverage. Steady connection is the only guarantee of smooth lag-free user experience. Another important downside has to do with the availability of GPU resources close to the user. Since GPU availability is scarce in comparison with CPU, especially at the Edge, adding to the bandwidth will mean an increase in network latency. 
  • During command streaming, cloud platform and the user’s device share parts of processing. Device receives instructions for encrypted graphics and converts them using its local GPU. The amount of received data is significantly smaller than during a live video stream, so command streaming requires less internet bandwidth. However, in this approach the visuals of the game have higher dependency on the device’s graphics capabilities.  

Current Challenges Faced by Cloud Gaming

As a relatively new genre, cloud games are still working out some knots. While the overall predictions for the future of cloud gaming are overwhelmingly positive, right now cloud games need to deal with a couple of tangible obstacles.  

  • Network latency. Low end-to-end latency is crucial for lag-free gameplay. Right now, cloud gaming cannot fully compete with installed games in terms of smoothness. The upcoming widespread availability of 5G is an anticipated potential solution for this problem. Meta also already uses edge computing to create a unified hosting environment that accelerates gaming speed in large metropolitan areas. 
  • Competitive selection. Cloud gaming infrastructure has to be able to run multiple titles on a single cloud gaming server to be economically viable. Cloud games are a new market emerging within a wider established one, so gamedev studios will have to offer many titles to choose from in order to win over the audience that’s already used to a different format.  


The ability to either work cloud services into your game development or move the entire thing over to the cloud platform is a powerful catalyst for the gamedev evolution. As the process becomes more democratized and small indie studios gain access to tools once reserved for the top dogs, we have a chance to see the gaming market go through an unprecedented transformation. It is thrilling to anticipate what new actors with unique vision will take the stage next.  

If you want to get a more personal introduction to cloud services within game development, Innovecs Games can become your consulting partner and apply our expertise to level up your workflow. Who knows – maybe your studio is one cloud-based feature away from its big break! 

If you need assistance in building a product from scratch or supporting the existing one, drop us a line to discuss details, and we will reply within 24 hours.