Edgegap vs Hathora
Edgegap and Hathora both offer the orchestration of containerized game servers to serve game developers evolving needs, but each come with unique offerings. Edgegap, known for its multi-cloud solution, focuses heavily on edge computing to optimize the player experience by reducing latency, as well as a full product suite for every game type. Hathora Cloud prioritizes the “ease of use” hosting platform emphasizing a global presence and dynamic scalability, through their authoritative server product.
How do they stack up against each other? This comparison dissects the features, strengths, and nuances between Edgegap and Hathora.
In the world of gaming infrastructure, Edgegap shines with its commitment to ease and efficiency. The company's platform boasts a design that champions a streamlined approach. With a full suite of products to address all multiplayer online needs and comprehensive documentation, integrating with Edgegap is more than just seamless; it is intuitive. Every user is greeted with an onboarding that explains how to deploy and the platform’s features.
Central to this integration is the platform’s Game Engine Plugin and API – as integration is as simple as a few clicks in your game engine’s IDE or a simple RESTful API call. Edgegap offers plugins for all major game engines (including Unity, Unreal and Cocos); meaning integration takes minutes. These tools act as a conduit, bridging the gap between developers' games and Edgegap's robust infrastructure, ensuring a harmonious interplay between the two.
Diving deeper, only Edgegap offers a free and fully managed matchmaker. The presence of an out-of-the-box matchmaker relieves developers of the work to design their own, an extremely useful tool for Indie developers as it’s a complex component of online games, thus streamlining the game development process and ensuring players are always matched in latency-optimized environments.
Navigating to Hathora, simplicity guides their philosophy. At the heart of Hathora’s platform lies their room deployment mechanism. While this room system can appear effective on paper, offering for example game studios to launch multiple matches in a single room, this logic is not available out-of-the-box with Hathora and must be developed by the game studio. In terms of setting their game server, developers begin their Hathora journey with the same step as Edgegap: a game server upload through a container. Hathora then offers a post-upload configuration space. Here, developers can tinker, adjusting server settings and ensuring the infrastructure is aligned with their game's requirement.
Connectivity – Latency Reduction & Resilience
Edgegap stands tall with its pioneering approach to connectivity. Central to its prowess is a diverse multi-cloud infrastructure providing game developers instant access to all 550+ locations worldwide. Rather than being tethered to a single cloud provider and it’s provider-specific orchestration (e.g. AWS’s Gamelift, Azure’s PlayFab), Edgegap broadens its horizons, integrating with over 17+ distinct cloud providers across the globe.
This not only ensures expansive network access but also offers the redundancy that is often pivotal in the gaming arena – ensuring Edgegap is committed to 99.99% availability. The integration of industry titans like AWS, GCP, and Azure bolsters Edgegap's commitment to uptime and reliability, facilitating a seamless experience for a diverse global player base. If a server is down, traffic is instantly and automatically routed to another provider or location for seamless online gameplay. It includes automated DDoS protection.
Reliability is one thing, but thanks to its patented, automated orchestration technology, Edgegap is able to deploy nearest user unlike any other service in the market. The culmination of this battle tested technology is palpable - players encounter minimal lag, resulting in faster in-game responses and an overall enhanced gaming experience. It is also the sole platform to have proven it’s latency reduction – up to 58% on average vs traditional public cloud.
Hathora anchors its connectivity proposition on region hosting and traffic routing through a cloud-provider's backbone. Its servers are located in multiple regions, 10 regions worldwide at the time of this writing, which pales in comparison to Edgegap’s 550 locations. Detailed server logs and performance metrics illuminate the operational landscape, while the platform's intrinsic DDoS protection fortifies its defense similarly to Edgegap, ensuring games remain uninterrupted. However, hosting games in such a limited number of locations means that their infrastructure would be vulnerable to a provider outage or an overwhelming DDoS attack targeting a single location.
Edgegap offers every game servers solution for any game types.
Authoritative servers are the golden standard for gaming, The ultimate level of control, quality & performance; ideal for games that require perfect player experience.
Distributed Relays (or “Network of Relays”) are a flexible solution that improves on limited peer-to-peer networking.
Fleet & Sessions are automated, self-optimizing global server management for persistent instances.
A no-code, fully managed matchmaker that's highly scalable & based on the open source Open Match project.
On the other end, Hathora, being a more recent product, is solely offering room-based hosting, along with a simple lobby service.
Edgegap champions a dynamic scaling approach based on user demand. At its core is the nimble ability to automatically readjust its infrastructure to real-time gaming needs thanks to its automated orchestration.
Player numbers in multiplayer games are notoriously unpredictable – surges can be sudden with new game features, and lulls are inevitable during off-peak hours. Edgegap, with its auto-adjusting capabilities, ensures resources are consistently and aptly matched to these fluctuations. Further bolstering its scalability stance is its embrace of the multi-cloud model. By harnessing the power and geographic spread of various global cloud providers, Edgegap effectively counters regional demand spikes, ensuring no strain on its overarching system and maintaining a consistent gaming experience.
Hathora carves its scalability niche with its on-demand server rooms. Similarly to Edgegap, a mere API call activates a server room. Through its dynamic room management, Hathora pledges a balance – resources are neither dormant nor overwhelmed, ensuring cost-efficiency and game performance. It is however lacking in terms of diversity of location and providers, focusing on just 1 or 2 providers in a dozen of locations worldwide.
Each respective platform’s adaptability grants developers an unprecedented level of flexibility, freeing them from the cumbersome task of preemptively allocating resources based on estimated demands. They’re empowered to operate in the now, making on-the-fly adjustments that ensure not just resource efficiency but also a consistent experience for players.
When examining the pricing frameworks of multiplayer gaming platforms, the distinction between Edgegap and Hathora is subtle but noticeable at scale.
Edgegap adopted from the start a usage-based pricing model. This ensures that developers pay solely for the pay-per-minute resources they consume when players play, epitomizing the principle of cost-effectiveness.
During quieter periods, when servers see less activity, costs naturally scale down, allowing developers to achieve significant savings. This transparent and flexible model ensures developers aren't financially burdened, especially during off-peak times.
Hathora also leans into a usage-based pricing system, based on a per hour price on consumed capacity which ends up being a tad more expensive than Edgegap. It’s egress costs are however 20% more expensive, which can rack up large bills if outgoing server traffic is a large portion of your game.
In summary, while both platforms offer tailored pricing models, Edgegap’s strategy stands out, delivering both transparency and financial agility. Developers looking for a cost-effective, adaptable solution will find Edgegap’s model especially appealing.
Both are still miles ahead of traditional public cloud by removing upfront costs, billed unused capacity, and fixed monthly server fees.
Switching to Edgegap from Hathora
Switching gaming infrastructure is no minor feat. To ensure a smooth transition that maintains the integrity of gameplay and player experience, certain steps and considerations are vital.
Analyze the Hathora Setup:
Audit Current Implementation: Start by taking stock of the current setup on Hathora. This involves understanding the architecture, assessing any custom configurations, and identifying integrations or plugins in use. Edgegap and Hathora both use game server containers, and you might fight the transition easier using the Edgegap Unreal or Unity plugin.
Documentation & Backup: Before initiating the migration, it's crucial to document the existing setup comprehensively and back up all essential data. This provides a safety net in case of unforeseen challenges during the migration.
Integration of Edgegap’s plugin and API:
Initial Integration: Post the preliminary analysis, the next step is to replace the Hathora API with the Edgegap API. This serves as the bridge between the game and Edgegap’s distributed infrastructure.
Custom Configurations: Depending on the complexity of the game and its features, developers might need to implement custom configurations that cater to the unique demands of their game, such as environment variables and port mapping.
Leverage Edgegap's Matchmaker:
Transitioning Lobby or Matchmaking Systems: Hathora has an existing lobby system, which can be replaced with a few tweaks with the Edgegap Lobby service. What’s more, if your game requires a more thorough matchmaking service, you’re in luck. Edgegap’s built-in matchmaker, optimized for latency and player preferences, can be configured to replace the existing system.
Player Experience: The objective of this step is to ensure that players continue to experience efficient, latency-optimized matching without disruptions during or after the transition.
Stress and Load Testing: After the migration process, it's imperative to subject the game to rigorous testing. This includes stress tests to understand how the new infrastructure holds up under heavy loads and comprehensive game testing to identify any hitches or issues.
Feedback Loops: Engaging a set of players for beta testing on the new setup can provide invaluable feedback to make necessary adjustments.
Monitoring & Optimization:
Continuous Monitoring: While Edgegap is always there to monitor the current deplyoments, game studios can also monitor their servers using Edgegap's tools ensures that the game remains performant and that any anomalies or issues are detected promptly.
Iterative Optimization: Based on performance data and player feedback, iterative optimizations can be made to improve server performance, reduce costs, and enhance the overall player experience.