EA announced Project Atlas – a cloudy future for their games


EA’s “cloud” is still called Project Atlas. It seems that it is created primarily for game services: Moss pays a lot of attention to projects that constantly live and develop. According to Moss, it is the game in which gamers live side by side, will be the most impressive form of entertainment. EA is investing in a new generation of network game services, where the connection between gamers will reach the next level. For this, Moss writes, deep social opportunities (friends, groups, communication), tools for creating, distributing, and evaluating user-generated content, personalized matchmaking, personal data protection, and machine learning integration are needed.

Project Atlas must erase any technical boundaries. Let us explain that the “cloud” is a global network of servers that transfers already processed data to the user’s device. Thus, developers can get rid of the “iron” limitations of consoles and PCs, facing the consumer. But the “cloud” opens up other perspectives. In Project Atlas will be advanced artificial intelligence. It is useful not only to imitate the behavior of NPC but also for a huge range of other things. Moss gives an example with a commentator on Madden matches. Thanks to AI, he can not only dryly state the fact of what happened through the prepared phrases but also accurately describe the situation in the game and share his opinion on what should have been done.

Another example of using AI is to help in creative processes. Moss says that today, AI can write and play original music, which means it can be used in games. Moss describes the future when every game has a huge talented virtual orchestra that will provide unique music for every scene. For example, the motive of the current environment is interwoven with the motive of allies or enemies located nearby. Or the music becomes more intense the more intense the action on the screen. In addition, AI is useful for the production of other content. For example, designers in a matter of seconds will be able to create mountains that are highly realistic and smoothly transition to another environment.

Project Atlas generally greatly facilitate the creation of video games. If, conditionally speaking, in a modern toolkit, only one employee at a time can work with a game card (otherwise changes from several employees at once the risk to “grow together” incorrectly), then Project Atlas allows displaying edits in real time and thus facilitates parallel work. According to Moss, the benefits of cloud technology are so high that they will be useful to huge teams of several hundred developers and tiny indie studios of one and a half people. Largely due to the fact that Project Atlas takes on a lot of technical tasks, and therefore frees up more time for creativity – gameplay design, appearance, and so on.

Project Atlas can even give more creative control to players: those who want to stream (or watch streams), invent skins or modifications. As Moss argues, the cloud platform is more convenient and easier to understand, so developers can give the audience more powerful tools for mods. Project Atlas will allow you to create common sites for modders or even entire markets, where one player transfers his creations to other players.

At the core of Project Atlas is the Frostbite engine. EA spends a lot of effort on the platform: over a thousand people are working on it within the company, and there are also third-party partners who help from outside.

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