Solid State Networks Announces Industry’s First DevOps Release Automation Solution for Games and Virtual Reality

DIRECT for Release Automation accelerates last-mile deployment to internal teams, partners and players world-wide

Phoenix, January 31, 2017 – Solid State Networks announces the availability of DIRECT for Release Automation, a cloud-based DevOps solution that accelerates the last-mile deployment of games and virtual reality (VR) experiences to internal teams, partners and players worldwide.

DIRECT for Release Automation is the first DevOps release automation solution specifically targeting game and VR developers.  It is based on more than seven years of experience working with AAA and independent game developers to help them speed up the last mile of the game deployment pipeline.  DIRECT  addresses the unique challenges associated with implementing Continuous Delivery practices to support the development and testing of immersive interactive experiences.

Push any release to production at any time

By supporting Continuous Delivery, DIRECT for Release Automation shortens iteration cycles and ensures the ability to push any release to production at any time. DIRECT  makes it easy to programmatically move application releases through a deployment pipeline promotion chain, simplifying the way internal teams and partners work and collaborate.  It automates time-consuming, error-prone manual pipeline activities, speeds up  internal and external communication and aligns everyone’s goals with the last-mile delivery process.

Using DIRECT for Release Automation, game and VR developers can easily and rapidly deploy new game builds to both new and returning players.  The DIRECT solution includes a powerful client agent designed to streamline deployment to end user systems that are outside of the developer’s control, a capability not currently available in other application release automation solutions.   Because the final steps of deployment to these target environments require human interaction, user experience is a paramount concern.  DIRECT removes many friction points along the way to reduce abandonment and improve retention, including streamlining installation and optimizing available system and network resources.

Fastest time-to-play in the industry

“DIRECT delivers the fastest time-to-play in the industry,” said Rick Buonincontri, who is responsible for strategy and product at Solid State Networks. “And it solves the version fragmentation problem by generating necessary update paths quickly and automatically utilizing massively parallel computing resources available on AWS.  Existing players spend more time playing and less time updating, and new players automatically receive the latest version providing the fastest path to gameplay.”

DIRECT for Release Automation scales on-demand because it was designed to take advantage of the scalability provided by Amazon Web Services (AWS) and the global content delivery network (CDN) infrastructure of Akamai. It provides on-demand capacity to store and process new releases and automatically stage them to Akamai to ensure global reach and best possible performance.

Speeds up testing and development

DIRECT for Release Automation speeds up testing and development by providing a production-ready infrastructure environment for internal teams and partners to work in. By using a production-ready infrastructure throughout the pipeline, time and risk associated with pushing the game or VR build to another environment is eliminated.

Developers can quickly connect DIRECT for Automation Release to their build process to eliminate time spent managing multiple tools, scripts, infrastructure and the build release library. A single script easily integrates DIRECT  with the existing build process and moves the last mile of the pipeline to the cloud. Using an API, DevOps teams can orchestrate release deployments through multiple branches of their pipeline as they see fit.

Supports leading game engines and top platforms

DIRECT is game engine agnostic; developers can  manage and orchestrate the deployment pipeline for games and Apps made using Unreal, Lumberyard, Unity and CryEngine, among others.  Studios can deploy releases directly to players on Windows and Mac OS operating systems or to top distribution platforms including Steam. Support for more operating systems and distribution platforms will be announced soon.

Why build what you can buy with no up-front commitment

“Many gaming companies build their own last-mile deployment solution which diverts valuable resources from making their games more successful,” Buonincontri said. “Why build what you can buy? DIRECT saves time, money and the hassle of building and maintaining your own solution. Plus it’s better, faster and more cost-effective.”

There is no cost to start using DIRECT for Release Automation; game and VR developers pay on a usage model with no long-term commitment required.  Buonincontri said pricing is based on experience in the market – “We know that game developers need to contain costs and mitigate uncertainty while taking their game to market.”