Beamable has introduced its Live Services Marketplace, where game developers can create and share compatible server software that helps them create, develop and manage live games.
Live service games are popular because they keep players in the game for a long time and help games generate a stable and predictable income for many years.
“Here is the problem we are solving. It’s one thing to just combine technologies and APIs. Making these things work with each other is quite another,” said John Redoff, CEO of Beamable, in an interview with GamesBeat. “We really focused on interoperability and made all these live service components work with each other and with a common set of data objects.”
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The company announced this at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco. Radoff will be moderating the Generative AI session at our GamesBeat Summit 2023 event in Los Angeles May 22-23.
“Our vision is to do for the cloud what Unity and Unreal did for the game development interface,” said Redoff. “To do this, we needed to create something more than a place to upload files: we needed to create programming interfaces for building internal gaming software in the cloud and for interacting with each other.”
As an example, in the source project, Beamable shows a game built on its inventory system. It has aspects of the mobile platform’s virtual economy, according to Radoff, and then hooks it up to generative AI using Scenario to create all of the images for the items while playing.
“It’s also in Web3 format, so when you collect an item, it actually adds it to the blockchain. It shows how very easy it is to put these components together,” Radoff said. “This is just a demo with source code. Anyone can just take it and start building their own game around it.”
Among the advantages of the platform: Beamable will allow companies to easily implement generative AI in their games. Companies can use it to produce the game or in the game itself. In manufacturing, generative AI can help artists create more art. Games are emerging where you can generate content while the player is playing the game.
The marketplace allows developers to sell or trade compatible components to solve various problems such as generative AI or monetization.
“Opening up the market is good, but the important part is the interoperability that you can, as a game developer, download a component and immediately, in Unity or Unreal, you are building things that just work well with each other. Radoff said.
The marketplace is built on a component basis using the Beamable Live Services Marketplace Software Development Kit (SDK). This includes features such as:
- Native cloud runtime to run code that can be maintained, debugged, and automatically scaled.
- A “data structure” for representing objects that exist in the persistent worlds and economies of online games.
- A set of out-of-the-box methods for important use cases such as scheduling events and messaging campaigns.
- Live Services Marketplace launches with support for a range of ready-to-use integrations, as well as announcements from partners announcing upcoming support. Examples are included for real-time interaction (Photon, Foundry), generative AI (Scenario, Common Sense Machines), analytics forwarding (Amplitude, Amazon S3, Mixpanel), and blockchain (Solana, Polygon, Venly).
Beamable provides a platform for building and scaling live game operations, available both in software as a service (SaaS) and deployed in a private cloud with its own infrastructure.
Radoff’s platform consists of two parts. One of them is self-service software as a service. You register on the website, download the plug-in for Unity and Unreal, and it’s cloud-based. The company also has a private cloud, which is more geared towards Triple A developers who want to manage the entire infrastructure in their own environment.
“We are publishing an SDK for the marketplace. Our goal is not to be the developer who creates all these integrations for everyone in the world. We have done this in some cases to clarify. But what we generally expect, and what some of the launch partners are doing, is just building it ourselves from the SDK,” Radoff said. “All these materials are in the public domain, anyone can work with them. And when they do, it’s very easy for them to ship the component. But the high-level vision here is really just to do for the server side what Unity and Unreal did for the user side of game development.”
Radoff said resource stores like Unity and Unreal work well because you can load components and expect them to work together for game development. But for the backend, this part, called composability, was missing.
“When we add another blockchain, someone will need to create a connector between the Live Services Marketplace SDK and that particular blockchain. We publish the source code for many of these things. For example, we have released a connector that includes all source code for Solana. So the Solana developers could just build a blockchain game without doing anything on the server side. And we supply the same for Polygon.”
The platform is tightly integrated with the Unity and Unreal game engines, allowing game developers to focus on creativity and differentiating their products. Leads the gaming industry and software team
veterans, Beamable is based in the Boston area and has raised $14 million from investors including Permit Ventures, Companyon Ventures, GrandBanks Capital and Defy.vc. Beamable has about 20 people.
Beamable wants to be an activator.
“I see Beamable in making it as easy as possible to create any game of any size. We are all looking to enhance creativity,” Radoff said. I see that a day in the future may be in a few years. But an individual developer can sit down and make Elden Ring on their own, or create EVE Online on their own. This requires a lot of content. You also need to support entire back-end environments, such as a back-end to manage millions of users and their accounts, and plugins and connections between all these creative components, such as generative AI, that can really allow you to build these things quickly.”
There are competitors such as Microsoft Playfab, Accelbyte and Pragma. Radoff said his company is trying to build a cohesive workflow to bring together things that work well together. The company released version 1.0 of its platform a year ago, and it has about 40 live games and thousands of developers who have subscribed to its platform.
“We focused on the DevOps workflow and components and then on autoscaling and let everything interact intelligently with each other. So you don’t have to figure out how to adapt all these components to each other,” he said.