Athlos: A Framework for Developing Scalable MMOG Backends on Commodity Clouds

Kasenides, Nicos orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-1562-3839 and Paspallis, Nearchos orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-2636-7973 (2022) Athlos: A Framework for Developing Scalable MMOG Backends on Commodity Clouds. Software, 1 (1). pp. 107-145.

[thumbnail of Version of Record]
PDF (Version of Record) - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.


Official URL:


The development of resource-intensive, distributed, real-time applications like Massively Multiplayer Online Game (MMOG) backends entails a variety of challenges, some of which have been extensively studied. Despite some advancements, the development and deployment of MMOG backends on commodity clouds and high-level computing layers continues to face several obstacles, including a non-standardized development methodology, lack of provisions for scalability, and the need for abstractions and tools to support the development process. In this paper, we describe a set of models, methods, and tools for developing scalable MMOG backends and hosting them on commodity cloud platforms. We present Athlos, a framework that allows game developers to leverage our methodology to rapidly prototype MMOG backends that can run on any type of cloud environment. We evaluate this framework by conducting simulations based on several case-study MMOGs to benchmark its performance and scalability, and compare the development effort needed, and quality of the code produced with other approaches. We find that MMOGs developed using this framework: (a) can support a very high number of simultaneous players under a given latency threshold, (b) elastically scale both in terms of runtime and state, and (c) significantly reduce the amount of effort required to develop them. Coupled with the advantages of high-level computing layers such as Platform, Backend, and Function-as-a-Service, we argue that our framework accelerates the development of high-performance, scalable MMOGs, that leverage the resources of commodity cloud platforms.

Repository Staff Only: item control page