Home Gaming Even Respawn seems confused by the cloud

Even Respawn seems confused by the cloud

3 min read


What Is “The Cloud” when it comes to Microsoft’s Xbox One? If you subscribe to the PR, it’s an amazing revolution, that would give the Xbox One developers the CPU and storage equivalent of three extra consoles. Yes, this is actually something Microsoft said last year, before the Xbox One was released.

"We’re provisioning for developers for every physical Xbox One we build, we’re provisioning the CPU and storage equivalent of three Xbox Ones on the cloud," Jeff Henshaw, group program manager of Xbox Incubation & Prototyping said of the cloud after the Xbox One’s reveal. "We’re doing that flat out so that any game developer can assume that there’s roughly three times the resources immediately available to their game, so they can build bigger, persistent levels that are more inclusive for players. They can do that out of the gate."

If you don’t buy the PR hype and marketing, then what it really means is that the Cloud is little more than “servers.” That’s what Respawn lead engineer Richard Baker said in an interview on Titanfall’s tech with Eurogamer.

"In the end it’s just a bunch of computer capacity. You can do anything with the cloud that you can do with a bunch of computers," says Baker

"The biggest thing is that it allows people to take a little more risk. In the past you would have a game where you’re like, ‘OK, we have a game where we think we’re going to get 10 million people play it day one,’ and you buy a bunch of servers for day one… You need to have a lot of servers available to make the game super popular and, if not, you lose lots of money. On the opposite side, if you don’t have a lot of servers on day one you’re kind of screwed… Now nobody has to buy servers just in case they’re going to be super-successful."

So really, the Cloud is just servers. If you listen to Respawn Engineer Jon Shiring though, they’re pretty magical, unicorn-powered servers. Speaking to Xbox Live’s Larry “Major Nelson” Hyrb for the Xbox Podcast, Shiring Extolled the Cloud’s virtues.

“In sort of the traditional model of dedicated servers is you go to your server and that is your home base and you love it,” he explained. “One of the key things that is interesting about the Xbox Live Compute that runs on Azure is that they’ve commodotised servers so much, that we just don’t care. I can ask for a server, use it for 10 seconds, and then go like, ‘ah we don’t need it anymore’ and throw it out.”

“We bounce people around server to server, and so you’re hitting a lot of different servers and that let’s us do cool things,” Shiring continued. “But it completely upends the old model of like, ‘I’m going to find my server and stay there forever’.

So it’s servers…that can change on the fly. that’s kinda neat – but it’s not in any way magical, and it certainly doesn’t provide three times the computing power Still, Shiring believes in the power of the cloud and its computational prowess.

“And I know that the internet is very sceptical that this is real. Hopefully less so now that Titanfall is out and they realize that they really are playing on these servers out there.”

What the cloud, Shiring says, is allow the game’s designers to go nuts.

[they can] ”go crazy and do things like throw AI in multiplayer and have these ships flying around the world and all these things that in a peer-to-peer hosted game – I know this is a little technical, but in a peer-to-peer hosted game, the bandwidth isn’t there.”

Well no, no it’s not..which is why we have dedicated servers, something we’ve had for years. And that’s all the cloud is; fancy servers.

Last Updated: March 17, 2014


  1. Hammersteyn

    March 17, 2014 at 14:33

    Why’s Patrick in the header?
    * Runs off the investigate other headers
    ** Screams in agony after investigating Titanfall blur to closely.


    • Sir Rants A Lot Llew. Jelly!!!

      March 17, 2014 at 14:34

      I thought I was gonna comment that I saw him first! Darnit! Missed by seconds!


      • Hammersteyn

        March 17, 2014 at 14:35



        • Sir Rants A Lot Llew. Jelly!!!

          March 17, 2014 at 14:39

          I don’t see him anywhere else. I see what may possibly be a very blurry patrick in the titanfall xbox 360 article (The pink tree) but that may just be coincidence


          • Hammersteyn

            March 17, 2014 at 14:39

            My effing eyes! I’ve got such a headache.

          • Sir Rants A Lot Llew. Jelly!!!

            March 17, 2014 at 14:40

            I know right!?

          • Gavin Mannion

            March 17, 2014 at 14:45

            he is elsewhere

          • Sir Rants A Lot Llew. Jelly!!!

            March 17, 2014 at 14:49

          • Hammersteyn

            March 17, 2014 at 14:53

            Also on the steam controller header

          • Sir Rants A Lot Llew. Jelly!!!

            March 17, 2014 at 14:56

            where? I can’t see. He’s also on the batman header

          • Hammersteyn

            March 17, 2014 at 15:09

            the right hand side

          • Sir Rants A Lot Llew. Jelly!!!

            March 17, 2014 at 15:29

            Ah! See him. Lol. Very nicely hidden. Good spot

          • Sir Rants A Lot Llew. Jelly!!!

            March 17, 2014 at 14:50

    • Admiral Chief of comments

      March 17, 2014 at 15:11

      St Patrick’s day


  2. Hammersteyn

    March 17, 2014 at 14:41

    So the cloud is like Santa. Only it’s your parents. Nothing as special as Santa but they get the job done….. if you have parents


  3. Alien Emperor Trevor

    March 17, 2014 at 14:45

    Wow that sounds so cool! Just imagine how awesome it will be when there are tons of games all trying to use the infinite cloud at the same time.


  4. HvR

    March 17, 2014 at 14:46

    “So really, the Cloud is just servers” – what did people think the cloud was?

    Funny how everybody is jumping on the cloud bandwagon but technology to provide the cloud solutions is still in it infancy. Due to latency it is even more of a pie in the sky dream for anyone not in US or Europe.

    This is a bit like marketing you new airline service in the year 1900.


  5. frikkenator

    March 17, 2014 at 14:48

    Yea, it is just servers, servers that can scale vertically and horizontally in 6 minutes with no down-time. Frankly I don’t know why all online games don’t run on this architecture (i.e. Diablo 3 and GTA who struggled tremendously to scale out servers). Also, I agree, “Cloud” is a stupid word to use in most situations (unless referring to weather).


  6. RinceIsIngwer

    March 17, 2014 at 14:52

  7. General JJ the Fett

    March 17, 2014 at 14:56

    Personally, I think they’re just servers.


  8. Rags

    March 17, 2014 at 15:32

    Fancy server will allow Respawn to shift players around without them noticing. It will also scale, so you they don’t pay massive amounts for a dedicated server when they don’t need to. So they can have an AI server –> Cloud Server doing positioning and matchmaking <– Clients. Traditionally it would be everything on the dedicated server? And those resource can eb and flow where and when needed. Which means you should be able to play this game even when the playerbase diminishes to the 17 players of the painkiller community because Respawn will only need to pay a tiny amount for the cloud.


  9. Sir Rants A Lot Llew. Jelly!!!

    March 17, 2014 at 15:37

    Ok so pretty much what the Eve online servers have been doing for years. Got it.


    • Hammersteyn

      March 17, 2014 at 15:54

      Oh snap


  10. 40 Insane Frogs

    March 17, 2014 at 17:14

    The Cloud is a lie! It was always a lie. http://www.flickr.com/photos/stml/5794096108/


  11. Rakesh Khuntia

    April 23, 2014 at 07:13

    Thanks for your insight! I have tried the Dedicated Server in Australia and having a Dedicated Hosting really is beneficial. PAlcom online provides best dedicated hosting solution in Noida, India.


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