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Tuesday, November 28, 2023

Cloud-native gaming has a Return in the Nordics with a huge investment from notable names

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Finland-based cloud-native game studio Return Entertainment is now ready to launch new cloud-friendly games thanks to 5.3 million euros in funding led by BITKRAFT Ventures with the participation of Sisu Game Ventures, Vgames, 1Up Fund, and SMOK Ventures. This means Return Entertainment will be able to promise a console-quality experience to the players in the near future.

Return Entertainment’s background

Backed by Sisu Game Ventures, Return Entertainment is founded in 2019 by CEO Antti Sartanen, CTO Tuomas Paavola Co-Founder of Immersal (acquired by Hexagon) and Lead Designer Toni Hollming, Co-Founder of Helsinki GameWorks. The studio has joined the change in the game industry. The cloud-native applications to the game experiences help them go beyond the limitations and difficulties of old-school gaming. Yes, it is as old school as Atari now! Because everything about what we knew about playing feels so nostalgic!

return entertainment“Cloud-native gaming is basically gaming on steroids; you have the same devices that gamers already play on, but suddenly the experiences are more accessible, shareable and rich in visuals and simulations.

With the right combination of technology and game design we can come up with incredible new types of games that were not previously possible, including games with more detailed worlds and physics, meaningful games that can be joined in an instant, and games that offer real-time interaction between players, streamers and viewers.” shared Antti Sartanen, CEO of Return Entertainment.

They refer to themselves as Indiana Jones of cloud gaming which means cool hats involved. The studio aims to offer the best possible game experience to the players without the need for expensive gear. Currently, it works on two cloud-based games that allow you to cross-play with others.  That means any platform’s users can get together regardless of mobile, tablet, or PC.

What’s the deal with cloud-native

Cloud-native computing is considered an approach in the software world. It uses cloud computing technologies to provide more rapid services than human power can offer. This enables you to build applications and run the codes anywhere you go without having the instrument with you. The investments are perpetually increasing because of the importance of this technology. Adopting cloud-native technologies allows one to develop codes and transfer them rapidly. It gives a chance to focus on innovation and customer services.

Cloud-native lives on microservices which enables many people to work on different units at the same time. The cloud-native applications utilize modern cloud services. This allows many things like automated building and testing after each change in the system. Accordingly, it offers continuous delivery which means an application can be run, built or rebuilt, and distributed without any effect on the previous, current, or future works on the system. But it is hard to say anything for those non-cloud-native ones.

What’s the promise of cloud-native gaming?

Gaming requires a bunch of expensive devices which cover a significant number of personal investments in the game industry. One needs local hardware, a platform like a console, and devices to play a game which you must purchase in addition to all the above. When you look at a global level and consider the developments of e-sports, cloud-native gaming offers a place for one to grow and proceed faster.

Cloud gaming is a brilliant way to provide a service considering those who don’t own a powerful platform to play a game which means you cannot sell them your product or any service. It uses cloud storage and processes all data on servers there. It offers more than Netflix-kind-of-engine since the server a user streams can react to the inputs. It eliminates the equipment requirements like graphic cards. This feature enables one to promise their customers a unique gaming experience since the player can display more satisfactory graphics.

For a player, experiencing low latency real-time input have a gold value. The user just has to think about the internet quality. This means even a mobile phone can do the work pretty well. Since it is using remote servers, there is no need to download a game or install anything to go for it. Time-efficient, ha?

Global competition in terms of cloud-native gaming

The first one among the majors was OnLive. The game engine launched in 2010 allows users to stream a game with the displaying capabilities of their devices. Meanwhile, Gaikai was announced with a different model. Sony got both and included them into PlayStation Network. As the first console manufacturer giving game streaming services, Sony announced PlayStation Now.

Other biggest players in the game are Nvidia with GeForce Now, Google with Google Stadia, and Microsoft with Xbox Cloud Gaming. Epic Games is in the game with its Unreal Engine. Ubisoft Kubernetes Service has also a gaming support tool. A Nordic gaming studio, Mainframe Industries announced the investments for its cloud-native Massively Multiplayer Online (MMO) games. The company had support from Riot Games as well.

Cloud native’s future with numbers

return entertainment

The overall cloud-native market continues growing around the world. IT infrastructure spending at a global level is around 75.6bn dollars according to research published by Lionel Sujay Vailshery in Statista on February 7. This is just for the infrastructure-as-a-software (IaaS) tier of cloud computing. There are also other tiers including software as a service (SaaS) and platform as a service (PaaS) statistics in terms of the market size. Last year’s growth of public cloud services was 26.2%. Before the year ends, the worldwide growth is expected to reach approximately 482 billion dollars. As for PaaS spending worldwide might be doubled at the end of 2022 according to the research.

Return Entertainment’s next step

The funding will help Return Entertainment to launch their games and develop new ones soon. They aim to build them as user-friendly and cost-efficient in the most possible way. The studio is trying to focus the quality as well. It won’t be so long to have a gaming experience with them thanks to the investors that big like BITCRAFTS. It is one of the leaders which is quite normal if you consider it includes many great names from the industry like Activision Blizzard, Riot Games, Epic Games, etc.

return entertainment“Cloud-native gaming enables developers to offer deeply immersive 3D experiences at the convenience of a single click, making AAA more accessible to everyone and enabling new business models.

From allowing viewers to more actively engage with their streamers through directly interacting with the gameplay to offering new monetization methods, Return Entertainment’s innovation has the potential to establish a new gaming category,” commented Malte Barth, Founding General Partner, BITKRAFT Ventures.

Click here for more funding news!

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Nurcin Metingil
Nurcin Metingil
A permanent student, a passionate first reader and nowadays doing master’s degree in Publishing Management. Beside these, I am up for games! I have been playing games since I was 6. Now, I am whispering "Business. Business. Numbers. Is this working?"

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