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Shadow unveiled two new cloud computing services for businesses, and it also launched a new service dubbed Shadow for Makers.
This comes after France-based Shadow, which started out in cloud gaming, went through a makeover in the past couple of years.
The company made the announcements at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco. The new services are tailored for game publishers and studios: a flexible and controlled game testing and demo solution, Echo Sessions, and a tool to deliver a secured game demo to thousands of users, Virtual Booth, said Sébastien Kaiser, chief strategy officer and chief development officer at Shadow, in an interivew with GamesBeat.
Originally, the company that pioneered the high-end cloud PC, Shadow had a strong gaming-oriented focus. Time has passed and this has evolved – Shadow now supports the activities of architects, 3D artists, IT managers and many more, while its consumer users are able to play and do much more, thanks to the flexibility offered by its cloud computing service. However, the company still has a focus on gamers.
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After initial projects with partner Bandai Namco, for which the company supported the Elden Ring PR campaign with dedicated cloud-powered tools, the company is building a complete range of services tailored for game studios, developers and publishers, as well as PR and QA companies supporting them.
Echo Sessions provides multiple controlled access to a game. It is a flexible but controlled and secured game testing and demo solution, available from the cloud. It allows various uses such as PR and other external testing, QA and other internal testing, and to sync between dev teams. From a few units up to a few hundred, Echo Sessions can be deployed rapidly and provide options such as complete recording, live monitoring and interactions, live and post-play feedback, among others.
Shadow is already providing this solution to various partners, including recently with Daedalic Entertainment to support the previews of the title The Lord of the Rings: Gollum. These solutions have been under development and testing for the past few months, and it was an early version that helped Bandai Namco Europe land the preview of the amazing Elden Ring last year.
Echo Sessions is available right now in Early Access in Europe and North America.
Virtual Booth is a tool for publishers and studios that want to create momentum around their title without the limitations of a physical event, while also gathering precious data and sales intel. It is a unique way to distribute a demo of their games through virtual events, where players can instantly play custom demos on dedicated GPUs, via a simple browser access. It is designed for the post-COVID era.
Each Virtual Booth consists of a series of demo pods accessible in the cloud that can host up to 100,000 players. Before the demo starts, players can share their excitement on social media to gain additional playtime. During the demo, development teams can gather data on what worked or not. After the end of the demo, players can provide their opinion on various aspects of the game, and ultimately obtain a tailored bonus. It is being demoed at GDC and is available in the fall of 2023.
Shadow for Makers
Shadow for makers is tailored for creators. These new offers are tailored for creatives, developers, freelancers, and anyone who wants the freedom to access powerful cloud PC from anywhere.
Shadow has been around for nine years, launching its original Shadow PC technology designed for consumers, especially focused on gamers. With its initial success, it quickly became clear that the technology had the potential to help a much larger audience, including creatives and professionals to achieve great things from the cloud, providing greater flexibility needed in a post-pandemic world.
To better serve the many creatives that have expressed interest in Shadow PCs over the years, Shadow is announcing today a new product segment: Shadow for Makers. This vertical is dedicated to individuals who need more power to build and create everything they need and want.
Shadow for Makers allows you to explore the various facets of your talents, including 3D modeling, web development, video production, creating virtual works, and designing a future professional path. With Shadow for Makers, you can choose the Shadow PC configuration to fit your own monthly budget rather than buying a new device every time you need one. Turn any laptop, tablet, phone, or even Mac, into a powerful Windows PC and creative station, and access it from anywhere: simply launch the app and you’re good to go.
“Shadow for Makers is a game-changer for those who need the proper power to achieve their creations. With Shadow for Makers, we’re empowering individuals to unlock their full potential and achieve great things”, said Sébastien Kaiser, Shadow’s chief strategy and dev officer, in a statement.
Shadow for Makers is now available in North America with two distinct configurations: Spark as well as the power-induced Zenith.
Shadow migrated all its servers over to OVHcloud water-cooled datacenters in May 2021, and it has had new leadership in the past couple of years. It migrated all customers to a more modern infrastructure and created a new configuration for consumers dubbed Power Upgrade.
It has also launched services in six new territories: Canada, Spain, Italy, Sweden, Denmark and Austria. For professionals, it launched Shadow for Enterprise and for Makers with key partners such as Bandai Namco, architecture firms and more. And it launched Shadow Drive in Europe.
All of this helped it drive double-digit growth in the past year. About 30% of customers are in France, 30% are in the rest of Europe, and another 30% are in North America. Its fleet of 30,000 graphics processing units is one of the largest in the world, and it has 17,000 Power Upgrade users. There are eight datacenters.
Since the announcement of business-to-business offerings back in May 2022, Shadow has gathered 2,300 prospect leads, and it has contracted deals with SNCF and Bandai Namco. The company has close to 200 employees, up from 125 a couple of years ago.