Zeuz, which is used to host online games such as Scum and Conan Exiles, will become part of Improbable’s suite of multiplayer services for game developers. The purchase price wasn’t disclosed.
I met with Zeuz co-CEO Manuel Karg at Gamescom in Germany last year and he was wearing a shirt that said “backend badasses.” He said the company was getting traction in making sure that players can access their games any time they want, from just about any location. The idea was to make multiplayer gaming flexible, efficient, and fairly priced.
The addition of Zeuz to London-based Improbable’s family of multiplayer products and services furthers the company’s mission to make online game development more efficient, effective, and accessible for developers making any kind of multiplayer game. Improbable is providing its SpatialOS technology to enable developers to make games that support massive numbers of players and huge environments.
Co-CEOs Markus Schneider and Karg, chief operating officer Sebastian Reckzeh, and Roberto Omezzolli founded Zeuz in Munich in 2017. They had years of experience with game server hosting, and they now have 30 employees. Clients include successful studios such as Funcom (Conan Exiles), Gamepires (SCUM), Triternion (Mordhau), and Scavengers Studios (Darwin Project).
Zeuz has rivals, but it positioned itself as neutral compared to its competitors. For instance, Steam has tools to help with scaling a game for lots of gamers, but with the emergence of rivals like the Epic Games Store, or Microsoft’s Playfab/Azure service, the tools offered by a single platform won’t necessarily scale across other platforms, Karg told me.
Zeuz said its services are ideal for developers looking to operate their online games. Zeus uses a container-based approach to hosting and server orchestration to deliver cost and efficiency benefits for game developers. It also offers flexibility and scaling without any backend pain, Zeuz said.
By joining Improbable, Zeuz can take advantage of Improbable’s scale and the experience of cloud computing and triple-A game development. Improbable has more than 500 employees. As part of Improbable, Zeuz will expand its cost-efficient hybrid cloud infrastructure to address new markets, and integrate with Improbable’s networking, co-development and game development businesses.
The services are complementary. SpatialOS is, at its core, is a networking solution that enables innovative multiplayer gameplay. Zeuz is primarily a managed hosting and server orchestration solution for games, using a hybrid system of “bare metal” servers and cloud, and providing cost-effective, scalable hosting and game operation expertise built from 15 years’ experience of multiplayer game hosting.
This is the third acquisition made by Improbable in the last six months, as the company continues its journey towards bringing value to every part of multiplayer development. In September 2019 Improbable announced the acquisition of The Multiplayer Guys, who provide co-development expertise, consultancy, and outsourcing services, and Midwinter Entertainment, whose upcoming game Scavengers will use Improbable’s advanced multiplayer networking technology.
Between The Multiplayer Guys, Zeuz, and the networking provided by SpatialOS, Improbable now delivers hosting and co-development services for game developers, as well as cutting-edge networking technology that facilitates innovative game design.
Herman Narula, Improbable CEO, said in a statement that Zeuz’s innovative managed hosting technology and game hosting expertise will play a key role in Improbable’s suite for game developers. Improbable is building a complete solution for multiplayer development, the fastest-growing part of the game business, he said.
Schneider said in a statement that joining Improbable gives Zeuz access to a lot of engineering experience and resources to expand its offerings for multiplayer games.