Titanfall’s network performance is vital to its reception, since it’s a multiplayer-only title, and Respawn Entertainment is grateful to Microsoft for taking on that burden.
In an interview with Engadget, Respawn engineer Jon Shiring discussed the game’s reliance on Microsoft’s cloud server system Azure for AI hosting and physics.
But one benefit which hasn’t been widely discussed is that Respawn doesn’t have to maintain multiplayer servers during the game’s launch.
“We’re trying to figure out how many people will be playing and trying to make sure the servers will be there for that,” he said.
“One of the really nice things about it is that it isn’t my problem, right?
“We just say [to Microsoft], here are our estimates, aim for more than that, plan for problems and make sure there are more than enough servers available – they’ll know the whole time that they need to bring more servers online.”
Shiring said Respawn is “taking a bullet” by being the first developer to launch with Azure hosting, but doesn’t expect to be the last.
“Back when we started talking to Microsoft about it, everyone thought it was kind of crazy and a lot of other publishers were terrified of even doing it,” he said
“I’ve heard that since our beta ended, they’ve been pounding down the doors at Microsoft because they’re realising that it really is a real thing right now.”
The full interview is pretty interesting, as Shiring talks about the kinds of things centralised hosting makes possible, and the fact that Respawn simply couldn’t afford to implement them on its own.
Titanfall’s reviews look extremely promising. It launches at midnight today in North America, and hits Europe and other territories later in the week, on PC and Xbox One. The Xbox 360 version will follow before the end of the month.