Microsoft will be center stage tonight as Respawn Entertainment’s Titanfall begins to roll out at midnight across the globe. Not only is the Redmond giant counting on tomorrow’s launch of Titanfall to spur sales of the Xbox One, but it will also be a huge test for Microsoft’s cloud technology. That’s because the game, published by Electronic Arts, is taking the unusual approach of relying on Microsoft’s Azure cloud services, which up until now has mainly been hosting business applications.
Respawn Entertainment has shed light on how critical cloud servers are to the recently-launched Titanfall, and explained why it chose to power significant elements of the game using Microsoft’s Azure cloud infrastructure. Speaking in an interview with Engadget, Respawn Entertainment engineer Jon Shiring discussed the necessity of cloud servers in running Titanfall. Microsoft’s Azure cloud server is not only responsible for hosting dedicated matches, but controls the behaviour of Artificial Intelligence in-game, including that of un-piloted Titans. According to Shiring, a lot of publishers were initially “terrified” at the prospect of using cloud servers to power the game.