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We have some BIG announcements at GDC 2017

This year at the Games Developer Conference 2017 (GDC17) in San Francisco, Califnornia, we are delighted to announce some fantastic updates to the SpatialOS platform, including demonstrations of the Unreal Engine integration in action.

We are also officially launching the SpatialOS Games Innovation Program in partnership with Google Cloud and naming the first studios who will be developing with the subsidised access to SpatialOS that it provides. Thousands of developers have already signed up to use SpatialOS and are already developing games on the platform, some of which will be showcased at our Improbable GDC stand (South Hall, no. 1738) and at a sponsored GDC session on building games with SpatialOS – if you’re at the event, come and say hello!

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GDC continues all this week until 3 March with loads of SpatialOS talks and events taking place, check them out at spatialos.improbable.io/gdc. Read on for more details about all our announcements:

Unreal integration and Open Beta released

“We’re delighted to be able to show Unreal developers how SpatialOS works,” said Herman Narula, CEO of Improbable. “This is an experimental build, but we expect to make rapid progress towards an alpha-level SDK. This is a huge step for our platform – and if any studios developing in Unreal want to talk about working with us on a project right now, they should get in touch.”

Improbable will be showing its Unreal integration and an Improbable-made demo game using Unreal, DUSK, at GDC. The SpatialOS Unreal integration will also be made available on Improbable’s Github repo on Thursday 2 March, to coincide with Improbable’s sponsored session in Room 2014, Moscone West at 10am.

Developers and studios will also be selected for the SpatialOS Games Innovation Program, in partnership with Google Cloud. This enables games studios to build, deploy and test games on SpatialOS up to the point of commercial release with significantly reduced, and in many cases completely eliminated, SpatialOS usage costs, which include cloud computing fees.

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For game developers working with Unity, SpatialOS will be considered to be in Open Functional Beta from the moment it is officially launched during Improbable’s sponsored session at GDC on 2 March. This means that in terms of platform stability and features a game built with Unity and deployed on SpatialOS can be developed from concept to launch without the need for more support than is provided by regular SpatialOS technical and community support. Billing and Service Level Agreements are not included in the Functional Beta, but will be in place at the end of Q1 2017, in time for projects originated using the Functional Beta to move into full development.

Developers and studios can also from 2 March be selected for the SpatialOS Games Innovation Program, in partnership with Google Cloud. This enables games studios to build, deploy and test games on SpatialOS up to the point of commercial release with significantly reduced, and in many cases completely eliminated, SpatialOS usage costs. These costs include cloud computing costs.

The Innovation Program partners, listed below, have been working with Improbable, alongside established SpatialOS projects such as Worlds Adrift, the upcoming game from Bossa Studios. Their feedback is being used to refine the pricing model for SpatialOS, which will be announced before the launch of billing mechanisms and service level agreements for SpatialOS at the end of Q1 2017.

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Any developer signing up for the open functional beta will have access to a free “sandbox” environment with a limited amount of computational power and client connection to prototype, test and deploy ideas ahead of the launch of the full beta.

Developers interested in discussing their project’s fit potential with SpatialOS, or further details of SpatialOS pricing and the SpatialOS Games Innovation Program, can contact Improbable directly at developer@improbable.io.

SpatialOS Games Innovation Program launches with inaugural partners

Improbable CEO Herman Narula will introduce the first partners in the SpatialOS Games Innovation Program to talk about their games and their experiences of building games with SpatialOS at a GDC session at 10am Pacific Time, 2 March. The SpatialOS credits supplied by the Games Innovation Program are intended to promote experimentation, much earlier user testing, rapid iteration, and an explosion of new ideas in gaming.

The first games and studios to be selected for the SpatialOS Games Innovation Program are:

  • Seed by Klang, a game of planetary settlement set in a shared, persistent world, created by a team including former senior CCP (Eve Online) employees.
  • Lazarus by Spilt Milk Studios – a multiplayer top-down 2D shooter set in a huge galaxy populated by artificially intelligent alien factions locked in a war for territory.
  • Chronicles of Elyria by Soulbound Studios – an MMORPG built with the Unreal engine, running on SpatialOS and set in a world where characters age, die, and shape their legacy through multiple lifetimes as different characters.
  • Vanishing Stars: Colony Wars by Ninpo Game Studio – a new type of massively multiplayer real-time strategy game, played across thousands of star systems, each with their own planets to battle on.

“With the SpatialOS Games Innovation Program launched and with the support of Google Cloud, these are just the first of many innovative game projects we will be supporting through subsidised access to SpatialOS and cloud computing,” said Herman Narula. “We win by showing the many possibilities SpatialOS opens up to game developers, so we will be aggressively supporting innovative projects like these.”

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Improbable at GDC

Improbable is discussing these announcements and introducing the SpatialOS Games Innovation Program partners at a speech at 10am PST on Thursday 2 March in Moscone West, Room 2014, Building Worlds with SpatialOS: Developers Discuss Next-Generation Online Gaming (Presented by Improbable).
Throughout GDC, Improbable will be showing off SpatialOS, with demos, live coding and playable versions of Worlds Adrift by Bossa Studios, at our stand (South Hall at Stand 1738). Also on our stand, Improbable will be showcasing several new games developed on its SpatialOS platform as part of the Games Innovation Program, delivered in partnership with Google Cloud.

Improbable’s CEO Herman Narula will also be a panelist in a panel discussion, also in Moscone West Room 2014, at 4pm PST on Thursday 2 March, titled Ready Player Everyone: Worlds, World-Building and the Future of Online Games (Presented by Improbable). This talk will be moderated by veteran games writer and journalist Dan Griliopoulos, and will also include:

Rob Pardo, CEO and founder, Bonfire Studios, and previously Chief Creative Officer of Blizzard Entertainment and Lead Designer of World of Warcraft.
Noah Falstein, Chief Game Designer, Google
Hilmar Veigar Pétursson, CEO of CCP, creators of EVE Online and EVE Valkyrie

For GDC attendees, Improbable will also be hosting a variety of evening events throughout the week of GDC. Follow @improbableio for more information.

Notes to editors
More information about our upcoming games and partnerships is available under strict embargo. Please contact press@improbable.io

About SpatialOS
By building on SpatialOS, developers can use standard tools and game engines to build new gaming experiences supported by the reliability, processing power and flexibility of Google Cloud Platform.

SpatialOS lets a developer exceed the limits of a single server or game engine. It allows for a swarm of hundreds of game engines, running in the cloud, to cooperate together to simulate a world much larger, richer, and with more players than any single one could.
Because SpatialOS manages the state of the world, every object in the world can persist indefinitely, removing the traditional constraints of game engines. Game worlds can now have a meaningful history, and players can leave a lasting impression. An item dropped on the ground can persist for years.
Rather than having to build server infrastructure, a developer can deploy their project to the SpatialOS Platform with a handful of CLI commands, minutes after starting it, and begin sharing with others. This allows for an online game world to be built and iterated rapidly in the presence of players.
A game developer can spend their time on what they want to do: creating and growing their game world and its story, rather than building and maintaining server infrastructure. Developers can create massive, ambitious games with far smaller teams.

Any developer interested in exploring how they can use SpatialOS to create new realities can download the SDK at http://spatialos.improbable.io

About Improbable
Headquartered in London, Improbable is a technology company dedicated to building technology to enable powerful virtual worlds and simulations designed to help solve previously intractable problems. In gaming and entertainment, this enables the creation of richer, more immersive and persistent virtual worlds. The Company’s proprietary platform SpatialOS is now available as an alpha release for games development teams of all sizes. Founded in 2012, Improbable received $20m in Series A funding from Andreessen Horowitz in March 2015.

Gaming and entertainment studios currently building their products on SpatialOS include Bossa Studios (Worlds Adrift), Spilt Milk Studios (Lazarus), HelloVR (MetaWorld), Entrada Interactive (Rebel Horizons) and Soulbound Studios (Chronicles of Elyria).