EA announces new cloud games initiative Project Atlas

EA announces new cloud games initiative Project Atlas

Publishing giant and games industry punching bag Electronic Arts has revealed a brand new cloud games initiative called Project Atlas.

The scheme was announced by CTO Ken Moss (pictured) on Medium, who claims that over 1,000 employees are currently working on this platform. The exec goes on to say that the tech has been developed to stream the latest games with the lowest possible latency, in addition to making more from "dynamic social and cross-platform play".

In addition, the firm wants to "create a world full of user-generated content - blurring the lines between the discrete domains of game engines and game services". It sure sounds like someone has been reading Ready Player One.

Cloud isn't the only buzzword that EA is interested in. The firm is also employing AI in Project Atlas in order to speed up development for studios. One example Moss gives is creating terrain much faster than normal.

This new platform will no longer be tied to hardware iterations. EA says that this is an infinitely scalable platform and is not limited by the horsepower of one bit of hardware.

There's no indication of when Project Atlas will be rolling out.

"This is the convergence we believe to be so exciting and so liberating," Moss wrote.

"The cloud distribution of engine services will free the game engine from the processing constraints of any single computing device, bringing more possibilities for deep personalization. A world full of user generated content will be possible with the growing ubiquity of cloud computing. As these begin to take shape, what’s actually happening is that they are blurring the line between engine and services. The two formerly distinct worlds of engine and services are merging, and what is emerging is the need for a next-generation unified platform."

EA isn't the only company that is investing in cloud. Microsoft last month announced its own platform, Project xCloud.

Much of this functionality - offloading processing power to remote servers - sounds incredibly similar to what Improbable offers with its SpatialOS tech.

The announcement of Project Atlas follows EA buying the tech and team of streaming firm GameFly in May of this year. At E3 2018, the publishing giant made reference to streaming when it was talking about improvements to its Origin Access scheme.

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PCGamesInsider Contributing Editor

Alex Calvin is a freelance journalist who writes about the business of games. He started out at UK trade paper MCV in 2013 and left as deputy editor over three years later. In June 2017, he joined Steel Media as the editor for new site In October 2019 he left this full-time position at the company but still contributes to the site on a daily basis. He has also written for, VGC, Games London, The Observer/Guardian and Esquire UK.