Edgegap appoints new Chief Strategy Officer

Edgegap is pleased to announce today the appointment of Vincent Archambault as its Chief Strategy Officer. Vincent has more than 15 years of experience in the gaming industry and will be applying his knowledge of the gaming market to help studios with their infrastructure needs.

“I’m thrilled to be joining the team here at Edgegap. Having been on the other side of the fence for many years as a Game Producer, I can vouch for Edgegap’s product as being what the gaming market is currently sorely missing.”

Edgegap’s technology helps game studios reduce lag and improve player experience by harnessing the power of edge computing. With 10X more regions covered than the biggest cloud provider, the company’s patented technology automatically selects the fastest server in its infrastructure for a determined group of players. Integration is easy, and can help game studios open new markets all around the world by improving the player experience in locations where it was previously impractical.

www.edgegap.com 

Why lag is so critical for eSports?

Our CEO was invited to take part in eSports BAR in Cannes this week and talk about why lower lag and guaranteed latency can be so important for tournaments where providing an equivalent chance of winning to everyone is key.

Edgegap closes $1 million seed funding round to build next generation gaming infrastructure

Montreal, Dec. 13th 2019 – Edgegap, a Montreal based Startup focused on next generation gaming, has today announced the closing of a $1 million seed financing round to develop an innovative gaming infrastructure.

The Startup, founded in late 2018, is building the next generation of gaming infrastructure. Their solution allows video game studios to improve player experience while reducing lag. The team, led by Cisco and SAP alumni, is providing a world-class solution leveraging a new type of infrastructure called Edge Computing. They are helping studios lower their cost of infrastructure and improve player experience through innovative services. The unique and patented solution has been tested by major studios and is seen as the answer to lag, the number one problem affecting the gaming industry today.

The financing round was led by Konvoy Ventures, a Colorado-based venture capital fund dedicated to video gaming. They are joined by Hiro Capital. Hiro is a UK/ European venture capital fund specialized in games and esports, which recently announced the launch of a €100 million fund for this sector. Together, this highly strategic group of investors will enable Edgegap to reach a worldwide audience.

Edge Computing to reduce lag

Edge computing is a new type of infrastructure where smaller data centers are deployed in multiple locations, closer to users, instead of large centralized ones. The technology permits lower latency by reducing the distance between servers and end users; however, it brings a new set of challenges by dealing with multiple locations and different technologies and vendors. In a case study released this year, Edgegap demonstrated that it reduced lag by more than half and improved player experience 95% of the time. Edgegap achieves this by tightly integrating with both gaming studio backends and edge computing infrastructures. Such improvements are only possible by using Edgegap’s new technology.

About Edgegap

Edgegap is an early stage, Montreal based Startup building the next generation of foundational infrastructure for video game studios. Founded by Mathieu Duperré in 2018, they are a pioneer in the edge computing industry by creating new solutions using this new type of infrastructure. Before founding Edgegap, Mathieu was working at Cisco Systems as a specialist in software-based solutions for the telecom industry.

http://edgegap.com/

About Konvoy Ventures

Konvoy Ventures is an early-stage venture capital firm dedicated to video gaming and esports. They are based in Denver, Colorado.

https://konvoy.vc/

About Hiro Capital

Hiro Capital is a Luxembourg / London technology Venture Capital fund which invests at Series A/B in innovators in games, esports and digital sports.

(French version)

Edgegap complète son financement initial de $1 million pour construire la prochaine génération d’infrastructure de jeux vidéo

Montréal, 13 décembre 2019 – Edgegap, une startup de la grande région de Montréal, Canada, annonce aujourd’hui avoir complété son financement initial.

Le Startup, fondé à la fin de 2018, développe la prochaine génération d’infrastructure de jeux vidéo. Leur solution permet aux studios de jeux d’améliorer l’expérience des joueurs tout en réduisant la latence. L’équipe, menée par d’anciens de chez Cisco et SAP, produit une solution de classe mondiale utilisant un nouveau type d’infrastructure appelée « Edge Computing ». Cette nouveauté permet aux studios de diminuer leur coût d’infrastructure tout en améliorant l’expérience des joueurs. La solution, unique et brevetée, a été testée par des studios majeurs et est perçue comme la solution au « lag », le principal problème affectant l’industrie du jeu aujourd’hui.

Le premier tour de financement a été mené par Konvoy Ventures, une firme de capital de risque basée au Colorado, qui se spécialise dans les jeux vidéo et le sport électronique « eSport ». À ces derniers s’ajoute Hiro Capital, une firme de capital de risque basée en Angleterre/Europe aussi spécialisée dans les jeux vidéo, le eSport et les technologies du sports. Ces derniers ont récemment annoncé un fond de 100 millions de livres spécifique à ce secteur. Ensemble, ce groupe hautement stratégique d’investisseurs permettra à Edgegap de disposer d’une présence mondiale.

Réduire le lag avec l’informatique en périphérie

L’informatique en périphérie, « Edge Computing », est un nouveau type d’infrastructure où une multitude de micro- centres de données sont déployés dans plusieurs endroits physiques, plus près des utilisateurs, plutôt que centralisé dans de grands entrepôts. Cette technologie permet une plus petite latence en réduisant la distance entre les serveurs et les utilisateurs.  En contrepartie, elle comporte une série de défis étant donné la grande quantité de sites physiques. Combiné au fait que le « Edge Computing » est offert par différents vendeurs utilisant différents standards, cette configuration rend la tâche complexe. Dans une étude de cas publiée cette année, Edgegap a démontré qu’elle peut réduire la latence par plus de la moitié et améliorer l’expérience de jeu pour plus de 95% des joueurs. Edgegap obtient ces résultats en s’intégrant étroitement avec les studios de jeux ainsi qu’avec les infrastructures informatiques en périphérie. L’ampleur de ces améliorations n’est possible qu’en utilisant la nouvelle technologie d’Edgegap.

À propos d’Edgegap

Edgegap est un Startup en développement basé à Montréal, développant la prochaine génération d’infrastructure pour l’industrie du jeux vidéo. Fondée par Mathieu Duperré en 2018, elle est reconnue comme un pionnier dans l’industrie de l’informatique en périphérie de par leur création de nouvelles solutions utilisant ce nouveau type d’infrastructure. Avant de fonder Edgegap, Mathieu travaillait chez Cisco Systems en tant que spécialiste de solutions logicielles pour l’industrie des télécommunications.

http://edgegap.com/

À propos de Konvoy Ventures

Konvoy Ventures est une firme de capital de risque dédiée aux jeux vidéo et les sports électroniques « eSports ». Ils sont basés à Denver au Colorado.

http://konvoy.vc

À propos d’Hiro Capital

Hiro Capital est un fond de capital de risque du Luxembourg/Londres réalisant des investissements de séries A/B dans les entreprises innovant au niveau des jeux vidéo, les sports électroniques « eSports » et les technologies du sport.

Edgegap demonstrated how it reduces lag by 58% with Ubisoft

Montreal, Sept. 18th 2019 – Edgegap successfully executed a proof of concept with Ubisoft to demonstrate how Edgegap solution can lower latency by 58% in gaming. By using traffic from 600,000 transactions and comparing the results with Ubisoft current architecture, Edgegap demonstrated an average latency reduction from 116 milliseconds to a drastic 48 milliseconds. On top of that, 78% of the transactions had a latency below 50 milliseconds, compared to only 14% without Edgegap solution.

Edge Computing to reduce lag

Edge computing is a new type of infrastructure where smaller data centers are deployed in multiple locations, closer from users, instead of centralizing large data centers. This allow for lower latency by reducing the distance but bring a new set of challenges by dealing with multiple locations. Edgegap provides a solution to handle those infrastructures. Ubisoft shared data from 600,000 transactions for one of their AAA games, Far Cry 5. Using its patented technology, Edgegap utilized its platform in parallel to compare the results between Ubisoft current architecture and Edgegap, for the same group of players. Using edge computing, Edgegap dynamic orchestrator was able to geo-locate server instances based on telemetry and live measurements, bringing servers closer from each group of player. This resulted in better results by lowering latency, reducing jitter and packet drop. This dynamic approach would not have been possible without Edgegap dynamic orchestrator.

Eliminate the “long tail”

While it is impossible to eliminate lag, Edgegap can drastically reduce its effect. The goal is to improve players’ experience as much as possible by leveraging dynamic infrastructures. By using Edgegap unique solution, we are able to eliminate the “long tail”, those players who typically get an average latency above an acceptable threshold, considered to be around 80-100 milliseconds for casual gamers. Edgegap is able to increase the amount of people with a latency below 50ms, providing an equivalent experience to everyone in the game.

You can get the full report here:  http://www.edgegap.com/Report-Ubisoft.pdf

Reach out to info@edgegap.com to find out more about how we can help you reduce lag in your game.

About Edgegap

Edgegap is a software startup based in Montreal, Canada, which specialized in software development for edge and cloud computing.  To find out more about Edgegap and Arbitrium, visit http://www.edgegap.com

Proof of Concept with Ubisoft

We have been working with the well-known gaming studio Ubisoft, here in Montreal, on measuring by how much our solution can improve player’s experience. After a few months of work, the results are finally in, and they are beyond expectations!

We were able to reduce the average round trip time by 58%. We improved results 95% of the time during the test. We’ve increased the percentage of players within the group of “great latency” by a wide margin. This means that without Edgegap’s solution, only 14% of the player had below 50ms, while Edgegap would have allowed 78% of them to get under this threshold.

Huge thanks to the team at Ubisoft for helping us and providing the right feedback throughout the process!

The full report can be found here:

http://www.edgegap.com/Report-Ubisoft.pdf



Are gaming studios listening to gamers?

I’ve been meeting with many studios/distributors/console manufacturers in the last year, and getting them to admit that latency was a serious problem has always been a challenge. I’ve always wondered whether it was because they really believed lag was not a problem, or if they just refused to see it due to the fact that they have no control over it.

This is quite challenging for someone like me who’s trying to solve an issue for a market which seems to say they don’t need such a solution. But still…
Google the latest #1 game, or browse your favorite forum about gaming and you will find many, many players complaining about that. A single post in a deep dark forum may not be catastrophic for a AAA studio, but now even streamers are quite vocal about the poor player experience. The hype of the moment, Apex legends, was violently slapped by one of the top streamers, Shroud, during a session where over 100k viewers were watching him play. Keep in mind that those sessions are recorded, and this particular one had been watched over 400k times last time I checked.

For non-gamers out there, a lot of multiplayer games today work as follow: everybody starts on the same level, for every match. Everybody has an equal chance of winning as there’s no bonus to have initially (no stronger weapons, faster cars, more health, etc.) Better players are ranked and matched together before each match, but the mechanics within the game always remain the same. Now you see why latency can be so critical in giving you an edge against others. Few weeks ago, I was playing a game from Microsoft, Sea of Thieves, with friends based in the US. This game’s mechanic is as described above; everybody starts on the same level. But probably due to the fact that I was in Canada and my friends in the US, my server was located far from me. I had latency over 200ms. Fighting others was much harder because of this, ruining the fun I had. So long for the public cloud solving this problem.

So, why are gaming studios not seeing lag as their priority number one?
I believe the reason lies below. A hosting company did a survey with over 200 gamers and developers during the last GDC 2019. The answer is shown here in the first 2 bars; Developers believe that gameplay and mechanic is more important than lower latency, and players see low latency as more important than gameplay. For studios, it’s all about the game mechanics.

With the large offering of games on the market, gamers are switching quickly and for studio not to address their customers main concern can only lead to loss of revenues. You will not see any PR about this in the news, but ask any net code developer or network engineer at those studios and they will tell you.
With Cloud gaming starting to get traction (hype-wise…) this problem will be amplified by 3 to 4 times. I made a post on our company’s blog a few weeks about lag in cloud gaming. This lag we see today in video games is the tip of the iceberg, and it is not even the same as the one we saw at Stadia’s booth during the last GDC. Those lags will all add up, and guess what, gamers will not like that. Any fast pace multiplayer games will face serious problems in this kind of environment.

Gamers are buying WIRED mouse and keyboard. Do you know why? They want to avoid latency between their devices and their PC. This market is filled with examples like that, so go ahead and tell them that latency is not a huge deal.
Using edge computing to distribute gaming servers is key in solving this problem. Latency is a distance problem, getting closer is the answer. You may tie this with other things like guaranteed path through vpn (hello haste!), better net code in the game “guessing” what players will do, higher QoS in the network, shorter access time (hell-o 5G…), and such. Those are all good options, but there is no single silver bullet. Using all of those solutions together will give gamers the best possible player experience.

We at Edgegap can help studios by getting gaming instances closer from players. Reach out to get a live demo where we’ll show you how we can lower latency in your game (and how much I’m a bad player!).

Source: https://www.inap.com/blog/top-reason-gamers-quit-playing-online-multiplayer-game/

Cloud Gaming comparison table

Last update: May. 21st 2019

Thinking of jumping on cloud gaming bandwagon? Well you are not alone. So are a few (!) companies. While trying to list the players, we ended up figuring out we could put together a table considering the sheer amount of them there are on the market today. We tried to compare each service based on what we knew and what was publicly available. We have not included “pure virtual desktop” players even though some of those folks below can be considered as simple virtual desktop. We’ve added them when they had a “gaming” twist or making your life easier from a gamer perspective. Many details were left for now, we will update the table as more information makes its way to the public. We are planning on doing a full benchmark with each service using our internal tools to measure latency, this will probably happen this summer. Stay tune.

What we can conclude already is they they all try to make you believe they are different, but at the end they all do the same stuff. They are streaming video and audio content to you, while carrying your inputs in the other direction. They mainly rely on the same type of encoders/decoders. If you are familiar with codec like h264, you know they can be expensive and heavy from a license and patent perspective. Writing your own one can be done (while some of those companies are fairly small), but before your software gets as fast as its hardware equivalent, it would take a lot of effort (if possible). As we’ve pointed out in a previous post on this blog, there are many areas where lag appears throughout this flow, and there are only a few places where those companies will be able to differentiate from others. Those differences are things like where they capture the feed on the renderer, how they relay controls information, how the feed is displayed on your screen. One area of interest is the network protocol used. But even there, the amount of things you can do to “be better than your competitors” is fairly limited.

Those companies are mainly running servers, or virtual machines in datacenters and offer you a fency website to get access to those resources. Their golden image will contains pre-installed games and maybe some distributing software like steam, gog and such. You will still have to own the game for most of those services. The devil is in the details, and that’s where it gets hard to differentiate them. Some use certain type of GPU, certain model of CPU, etc. We’ve even seen cases where a given cloud gaming service was providing different model of cpu each time you connect. You could get a 3Ghz CPU at some point, and later in the day only get a 2.1Ghz cpu.

We used the publicly available information to fill the table below. We used the highest possible resolution/framerate for pricing as everyone is looking for this (or else why would you not simply get an old PC).

We broke down those services in 3 groups:

-GaaS: Gaming a sa service. You get the virtual machine, and games are included for you to play. Some will give you the full VM (i.e. you can do non-game related stuff), others will only allow you to play their games.

-CaaS: Computer as a Service. You get a VM, mainly windows, which may have some games pre-installed. You have to pay for the VM, but you need to own the game. You type in your distributor account (i.e. steam) and they let you play whichever game you have. If the game is not pre-installed you need to download it first. In most cases, your VM will disappear when you don’t use it, so re-install may be needed.

-Self-streaming: Slightly different beast here. You provide the renderer hardware in this case. Their software allows you to play games remotely. Either your console or your PC at home will do the rendering while you play the game (which you need to own, through a subscription or direct license) on your mobile device (slower pc, tv, phone, tablet, etc.). They may allow interesting feature like split screen and such, which would not initially be supported in game.

You have 2 tables, one with the url you can click and the other with some details from our report. We will try to update it frequently and if you feel something should be updated drop us an email at info@edgegap.com

URL
Amazon https://www.theinformation.com/articles/amazon-developing-game-streaming-service
Blacknut https://www.blacknut.com/en
Disney n/a
dixper https://dixper.gg
EA Project Atlas https://www.ea.com/news/announcing-project-atlas
Gameclub http://www.gamecloud.club/
Geforce Now https://www.nvidia.com/en-us/geforce/products/geforce-now/
Google Stadia https://store.google.com/magazine/stadia
Jump https://playonjump.com/
LiquidSky https://liquidsky.com/
Microsoft xCloud https://news.xbox.com/en-us/2019/03/12/project-xcloud-choice-for-how-and-when-you-play/
moonlight https://moonlight-stream.org/
nvidia stream https://www.nvidia.com/en-us/shield/
Paperspace https://www.paperspace.com/gaming
Parsec https://parsecgaming.com/downloads
Playgiga https://playgiga.com
Playhatch https://playhatch.com
Playkey https://playkey.net
Playstation Now https://www.playstation.com/en-ca/explore/playstation-now/
rainway https://rainway.com
Redfinger https://www.cloudemulator.net/
Shadow https://shadow.tech/
steam in-home stream / link https://store.steampowered.com/streaming/
Tencent Start https://technode.com/2019/03/21/tencent-to-begin-closed-beta-for-cloud-gaming-service-start/
Utomik https://www.utomik.com/
Vectordash https://vectordash.com/
Verizon https://www.gamespot.com/articles/verizon-is-reportedly-working-on-a-video-game-stre/1100-6464369/
Vortex https://vortex.gg
Walmart https://www.theverge.com/2019/3/21/18276235/walmart-cloud-gaming-service-google-stadia-competitor