Today, we announced our 9th portfolio investment into Edgegap, a technology company that helps game studios leverage cloud and edge infrastructure for hosting and deploying game servers on demand.
Edgegap is headed by Mathieu Duperré, a highly technical founder with decades of infrastructure and cloud experience at companies like Cisco, Openwave, and Bell Mobility. We led the round and are thrilled to have investors like Hiro Capital, Han Park, and others join us.
How Game Servers Work: online multiplayer video games require extremely fast internet connectivity and information transfer between individual players and the centralized servers hosting matches. These game servers are typically hosted at dedicated server locations. When players enter the game to join a lobby, a game matchmaking algorithm creates a match with selected players and attempts to group them regionally by proximity to the gamer server.
These dedicated server sites are usually hosted on public cloud infrastructure or sometimes private servers, but they are limited in number. For example, Amazon Web Services (AWS), the cloud provider with the largest footprint globally, has 22 data centers across the world. Though those are impressive numbers for cloud data centers, a new technical phenomena called “Edge Computing” is likely to disrupt the way data, applications, and games are hosted.
What is Edge Computing? Edge Computing is the notion of having smaller distributed compute nodes that exist at the edge of internet networks, as opposed to centralized cloud servers that exist today. By pushing computing power closer to the consumers using the applications of the internet, better, faster, more reliable, and cheaper services can be delivered.
In the future, edge compute nodes could be as small as a closet room in an office building or a shoebox-sized container sitting on a streetlamp. There are multiple use case applications for edge computing such as AR/VR, autonomous vehicles, facial recognition, and rich content management. One of the most interesting applications, due to its fast internet connectivity requirements, is multiplayer online gaming.
This is where Edgegap comes in. Lag is an extremely common and disruptive issue in online multiplayer games due to the current internet infrastructure’s inability to meet connectivity demands. Edgegap helps game studios leverage cloud and edge infrastructure for hosting and deploying game servers on demand.
When people want to join a lobby to play a multiplayer game, the game’s matchmaker will leverage Edgegap to automatically determine and deploy to the best hosting location. The key value to game studios is that the most optimal hosting locations can be selected and served through Edgegap in real-time for individual matches in an automated fashion.