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Moving Faster Together: How AccelByte Takes Pressure off Your Central Tech Teams

Large established gaming companies invest years of development and hundreds of engineering hours to build games. This includes publishing backend infrastructure, developing and operating multiple live services games, and publishing/direct-to-consumer effort. 

Before joining AccelByte, in my time at EA, Ubisoft, or even Microsoft, I worked closely with, and sometimes in, various central tech teams throughout my almost two decades in the games industry. That experience has taught me a great deal about the challenges and high expectations these teams face– and has shaped how we at AccelByte approach partnering with central tech teams.

In this article, we will explore why AccelByte Gaming Services (AGS) is built to collaborate with your central online tech, not replace it, and can help you accelerate your development while getting your games shipped faster. Let’s dig in.

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Why do companies build central tech teams?

First, let’s cover what central tech teams look like in a larger game studio. Here are a few common teams setups and their mandates:
  • Online Tech Team - for building and running various online systems such as a centralized account system, commerce and entitlement, analytics, and various metagame systems such as stats and leaderboard.
  • Direct to Customer Tech Team - for game companies that opted to have their own PC digital distribution launcher, such as Origin,, or Ubisoft Connect.
  • Core Game Tech Team - such as maintaining the proprietary game engine or keeping up with Unreal’s latest features. For example: supporting new rendering APIs from new graphic cards or implementing new I/O APIs from one of the consoles.
  • Central Analytics Team - having a bird’s eye view of how all your games are performing and the ability to dive deep into each game is critical to the success of game companies that work.

You might be wondering - why do game companies invest in their own central tech team instead of outsourcing? 

There are four main reasons for developers to invest in their central tech team.

1. Accelerate Game Development

When dealing with many games in development at once, providing a solution that “just works” for your game studio is ideal. This allows them to go lean and focus on the games while your central tech team takes care of all the boring stuff like scaling servers and monitoring.

2. Cross-Title Collaboration and Promotion

Investing in your central tech teams unlocks cross-title collaboration and promotion opportunities. Blizzard is a great example of cross-title promotions with their centralized entitlement system. When players pre-order Diablo, they get freebies in other Blizzard games like Overwatch and World of Warcraft. Running your own unified tech stack allows you to have control of your ecosystem. 

3. Owning Your Player

The true value of player relationships lies in data ownership. The only information you can reliably get when relying on others is in units sold, not who your players are or why they made purchases. When you have a direct relationship with your players, you can create a far more curated experience for them, further developing their loyalty and potentially increasing their lifetime value.

4. Long-Term Control Over Game Dependencies

The fourth is having some level of long-term control over your game's dependencies. Games with live service and multiplayer components want to run for a long time. Having to sunset a game is something game companies don’t take lightly. Depending on another company to run and host critical parts of your game's infrastructure can pose a risk for longevity. 

The True Cost of Running Your Own Central Online Tech Team

As you can guess, this does not come cheap. Running your own central tech team has an extremely high total cost of ownership. Even moderate-sized studios can creep towards millions a year in investment in their central tech team. The world's largest publishers sustain central tech teams, with hundreds of engineers consuming tens of millions in annual CAPEX. 

Of course, each game is unique, and there is no one size fits all solution. If your central tech team needs to support many games, they can get stretched too thin. This can also take time away from the central tech team building out requested features from their game teams.

How AccelByte Works With Central Tech Teams

AccelByte was created by game industry veterans who have engineered online systems behind some of the world's largest live services games and platforms, including Fortnite, Epic Online Store, Xbox Live, and EA Origin. We understand how to work with a central tech team. 

We designed AccelByte Gaming Services to not only collaborate with your existing tech but also add capability so that you can support more games and publishing needs, especially as live services games requirements and regulations get more complex. We can even accelerate your development and help you scale.

Here’s how:

Integration, Not Replacement.

Often, AGS might overlap with your existing online tech, and that’s okay.

Here are some example integrations that do not require complete data migration:

  1. Integration with your existing account system. Note that if your account system is Open ID Connect compliant, this is supported out of the box - but if not, we can do custom engineering.
  2. All data is yours, so we can work with your analytics team on sending all telemetry data into your central data warehouse. What if you don’t have it yet? We can help with that with our analytics pipeline and get you visibility across your titles.
  3. Synchronize entitlement between your online system and AB to enable cross-game marketing and build a loyalty program.
  4. Leverage AB matchmaking logic to get the player data from your online system by writing Extend gRPC plugin.

Think of us as your virtual sister central tech team. We handle the 60-80% that can be commonly applied so that you can focus on the 20-40% unique to your game and publishing needs. AccelByte works hand-in-hand with customers like Krafton to ensure seamless operations as an extension of their central tech teams, with the ability to scale resources as scope increases. 

How does this look in practice? Game studios come to AccelByte directly for technical support as if we are a part of the core team rather than just another external vendor. 

Dedicated Co-Development Support

Working with AccelByte means entering into a collaborative partnership with our team. We aim to build a co-development model with dedicated Technical Producers and Solutions Architects for your team and each game team you support.

We work hand-in-hand with teams across the production cycle, supporting everything from onboarding to multi-day in-person development workshops, passing certification, and even staffing a joint war room during your launch. Our core mission is to help teams support successful (and boring!) game launches– because that is how we help our partners win. 

Diagram of onboarding process as an enterprise client of AccelByte

Source Code Access

We know that access to the underlying source code that powers a platform is just as important, if not more, than the support provided for central tech teams. Building trust with and transparency for our partners is fundamental for AccelByte. So we share underlying source code access so studios can enable customization and include new features and capabilities unique to their game and publishing requirements.

Diagram showing the steps taken if wanting to customize AccelByte Gaming Services

Ultimately we’re here for you. AccelByte partners with teams to deliver the functionality game players have come to expect from releases. Together with central tech teams, we aim to enable game teams to focus on what matters: making awesome games and celebrating boring launches. 

Interested in learning more? Get started with a demo. 

Find a Backend Solution for Your Game!

Reach out to the AccelByte team to learn more.