Multiplayer game backends: A Comparison of commodity cloud-based approaches

Kasenides, Nicos orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-1562-3839 and Paspallis, Nearchos orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-2636-7973 (2020) Multiplayer game backends: A Comparison of commodity cloud-based approaches. In: 8th European Conference On Service-Oriented And Cloud Computing, 1-3 April, 2020, Heraklion, Greece.

[thumbnail of Author Accepted Manuscript]
PDF (Author Accepted Manuscript) - Accepted Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.


Official URL:


The development of resource-intensive complex distributed systems such as the backend side of Massively Multiplayer Online Games (MMOGs) has shifted towards cloud-based approaches in recent years. Despite this shift, researchers and developers have mostly utilized proprietary clouds to provide services for such applications — thus leaving the area of commodity clouds largely unexplored. The use of proprietary clouds is almost always applied at the Infrastructure-as-a-Service layer, thereby enforcing restrictions on the development of MMOGs. In a previous work we focused on the characteristics of MMOGs, outlining certain factors that prohibit their deployment on commodity clouds. In this paper, we evaluate the suitability of common public cloud platforms in developing and deploying the backend side of MMOGs. In our approach, we implement a simple MMOG over three popular public cloud platforms. Then, we evaluate their performance by measuring the latency of the game over each platform as well as the maximum size of game worlds supported by each approach. Our measurements show that approaches based on the Infrastructure-as-a-Service layer perform better than those based on the Platform-as-a-Service layer — which was expected. However, our results indicate that MMOGs based on the Platform-as-aService layer can also perform relatively well and within the bounds of real-time latency. Coupled with accelerated development and lower maintenance costs, Platform-as-a-Service technology paves the way for further development of MMOG specific Backend-as-a-Service platforms.

Repository Staff Only: item control page