Ken Moss, chief technology officer at Electronic Arts, announced today that the company has begun a technical trial for a cloud gaming service.

In launching the trial of the service, EA is joining the bandwagon for cloud gaming, which Google has been evangelizing in advance of its Stadia service launching in November.

“The collective enthusiasm and attention in this space couldn’t be more exciting and we are looking forward to working with more partners and platforms,” said Moss, in a blog post. “For EA, our continued focus will be on making sure our games will be ready for a cloud-powered future where our players can engage and enjoy anytime, anywhere, and on any device.”

He said EA is hosting an exclusive external trial for players to experience games streamed through EA’s cloud technology. Last year, Moss started talking about Project Atlas, a borader vision for bringing together game engine technology and services that make full use of the cloud.

With cloud gaming, a video game is executed on servers in a data center, or internet-connected cloud, and the video is sent back down to the user, who can play the game interactively on any device. Cloud gaming is just one very specific part of the Project Atlas vision, Moss said.

The goal of the trial is to gather more inputs at scale to test performance and quality of service in a variety of network conditions and on multiple server routing scenarios.

“While this particular trial will be focused on cloud gaming on PC, we are also working to understand performance across multiple other devices,” Moss said. “Most importantly, we are here to learn how to improve and enhance the cloud gaming experience for our players.”

Above: Unravel puts the cute Yarny in some situations that are scary for such a small and fragile creature.

Image Credit: Microsoft

EA wants to ensure that there is strong quality of service in cloud gaming by being able to adjust to real-world, often less than ideal, conditions such as unstable bandwidth and network strength.

“Over the last decade, latency and jitter have made cloud gaming a non-starter for any serious gamer,” Moss said. “But now that the global cloud infrastructure is finally reaching ubiquity, EA is working on leveraging AWS and the public cloud so that we can deploy as close to the players as possible, even in the face of unstable networks and changes in bandwidth. This player test will help us to better understand how our games perform across real-life scenarios.”

EA is also testing a wide breadth of games and genres to be able to better understand how the streaming technology performs across each. From the visual fidelity for games that are known for stunning graphics and demanding rendering, to the uncompromised precision and accuracy which are so critical to multiplayer FPS games — all of this must perform seamlessly.

As part of the external trial, players will get hands-on with four HD games, including FIFA 19, Titanfall 2, Need for Speed Rivals, and Unravel.

Eventually, the goal of cloud gaming is to deliver full-scale HD games to any device a player wants to use, such as a smart TV, OTT streaming devices, PC or Mac laptops, tablets, and smartphones.

“This means that you would be able to stream a Madden HD game directly to the smart TV in your living room, or even in a hotel room if you’re traveling. You could even also continue same session on the go, right on your smartphone,” Moss said.

“The bottom line is this. Cloud gaming is coming. It’s no longer a question of if, but when,” Moss said. “It’s still really early days but we’re excited to take this next step in our learning, and it’s great to be able to do it with some of you in our community. This is about enhancing the quality of our games and services for a cloud powered future. So if there is an opportunity to elevate the experience and inspire more people to play, we are going to explore it.”



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