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How Respawn took VR Above and Beyond the status quo

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Medal of Honor: Above and Beyond is one of the most ambitious projects Respawn has ever undertaken. An action packed, incredibly immersive VR experience set in World War II with a deep single player campaign and full-feature multiplayer, MOHAB is testing the limits of Virtual Reality.

Players step into the boots of an agent of the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) in war torn Europe. The game takes you through historic events on land, air, and sea, sabotaging Nazi bases, subverting enemy plans and aiding the French Resistance.

With this ambitious campaign and a full multiplayer experience to balance, the agile team at Respawn tasked with bringing MOHAB to life had to be smart with their resources. 

Delivering the networking, matchmaking, and voice comms for top titles is what Unity Multiplayer Services does best, and so we were honored to partner with Respawn and help them focus on creating a new frontier for the beloved Medal of Honor franchise.

Focusing on the gameplay

From the start, Respawn planned to concentrate on gameplay while using off-the-shelf components and services wherever possible for back-end and networking tasks. For MOHAB, the team was responsible for building a AAA experience for an enormous global audience with high expectations. Respawn’s title would represent an ambitious benchmark for multiplayer VR games for the Oculus Rift device.

Fast scaling for big launches

Respawn first tapped Multiplay’s auto-scaling hybrid-cloud technology for Titanfall 2 in 2016. Critics acclaimed its multiplayer performance, and Respawn entrusted the franchise’s next incarnation, Apex Legends, to Multiplay as well. 

Their decision was instantly vindicated when the shooter launched to explosive success – during the launch’s peak, the orchestration layer was spinning up more than 3,000 cores per minute with 6,500 virtual machines (VMs) in the cloud across 54 locations. Multiplay scaled seamlessly, leveraging global bare-metal and public cloud resources to serve up Apex Legends to 50 million players in 24 days and handle over 2 million concurrent users (CCU).

A tried and tested battle plan

For managing network infrastructure with MOHAB, Respawn knew Multiplay’s instrumentation, how to deploy it, and what it would cost. It was a known quantity, and it filled in all of Respawn’s checkboxes. And because the development team easily understood its inner workings and clear API, they saved an enormous amount of development time.

Another vitally important factor in choosing Multiplay was the confidence they had in the support team. Anticipating they would hand off live-ops after launch, Respawn knew that Multiplay would be a trusted partner for Facebook/Oculus.

Read their story

We spoke to the team at Respawn about how they made sure their innovative VR title embodied their “gameplay first” mentality by finding reliable services for their multiplayer infrastructure. You can read the full case study here.

 

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