A Successful Early Access for an Indie Studio with Massive Ambition using Edgegap

Sep 28, 2022

Case Study: Matrioska Game’s Expedition Agartha

Key Highlights

  • Sophomore indie studio Matrioshka Games, founded by Hunter Wu during as a college student, ambitiously aimed to develop a unique, 12-player “Escape from Tarkov” hardcore survival game with exciting PVE and PVP action.

  • Missing multiplayer game development experience, and working on a tight production schedule, Edgegap’s convenient platform allowed Matrioshka to deliver a successful Steam Early Access without a hitch.

  • This success led to Expedition Agartha to be added to the portfolio Wandering Wizard, a publishing label of ARK’s publisher Snail Games.  

The Studio

Matrioshka Games, the creators behind the indie success of Expedition Agartha, is a small but ambitious indie studio in the United States. Hunter Wu is the founder and managing director of the studio. He launched the studio’s first game, Fallen Angel, while finishing his bachelor’s degree in game design & production. Not small feat.

Since challenges are part of the studio’s DNA, Hunter and his team set an ambition sight for its next game – a multiplayer title; even if no team member had experience launching one. Their aim was to introduce something unique to a genre they loved - “Escape from Tarkov” hardcore survival game with PVE and PVP action for up to 12 players. Where you loot, gear up, and repeat!

The Challenge

While developing Project Agartha, Hunter and his team face three main types of challenges:

  • Game Server Management & Distribution: Convinced that their take on Escape from Tarkov would be popular with players worldwide but limited in terms of resources and capacity, the team knew that offering coverage to players globally would be a challenge. A challenge that comes with multiple pitfalls on both the performance and financial side.

  • Lack of Multiplayer Infrastructure Experience: Building a multiplayer game possibly one of the hardest achievements in game development. Matrioshka’s junior team lacked direct experience in developing and launching an online game. This was particularly critical, given of all multiplayer game genre, the one opted required a great online experience if it wanted a shot at success.

  • Short Production Schedule & Limited Resources: As a small independent developer, the team had to make the best of all the resources they had. While they found a great publishing partner in Wandering Wizard, they would need to launch the game in early access quickly to be able to validate their game concept.

The Solution

Edgegap’s automated game server orchestration platform provided Matrioshka with a complete hosting solution.

Specifically, it enabled instant global distribution to ensure players worldwide access to Agartha. Automated rapid-scaling (up to 14M CCU) just-in-time and on-demand ensured provisioning and performance was never an issue.

Onboarding to Edgegap was easy and simple. Edgegap’s documentation was a boon to the Matrioshka team thanks to its simplicity and structure. They also immediately joined Edgegap’s Discord channel for direct support from our experienced infrastructure development team.

Logging in more than 3,500 messages over a year, Matrioshka really enjoyed the full support of the Edgegap team.

From player perspective, thanks to Edgegap’s patented orchestration technology, Expedition Agartha’s game servers are placed in the best possible location based on all the players in the match – known to reduce latency by up to 58%. This ensured there was little-to-no negative feedback from the community, and lowered player churn due to latency.

Edgegap pay-per-use pricing made planning easier, and most important of all, reduce hosting costs to a minimum both during production and when the game launch.

Impact & Outcome

This performance and ability to rapidly scale on-demand were especially useful when Matrioshka’s Twitch influencer launch strategy paid off. Creating an important burst of interest and influx of players during their soft launch.

Expedition Agartha – Twitch statistics, channels & viewers – SullyGnome


Expedition Agartha’s infrastructure ensured the game’s success at the time it was most needed. Enabling the Matrioshka team to prove their game has a fan base, securing publishing support, and helping them pivot from development to ongoing support through new game content.

Thanks to the help of Edgegap, they were able to reallocate important resources from managing their hosting to new features and iron out the kinks to make Expedition Agartha an Early Access success.

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