In a surprising move, EA announced that technical tests of their cloud gaming service, Project Atlas, will begin tonight at midnight CDT. Signups will occur through the EA Community Playtesting portal, and testers will need an EA Origin account to begin the sign-up process. The details of the test were announced in a Medium post by EA’s CTO Ken Moss and further confirmed by The Verge.
The current round of technical tests will run for two weeks, and feature four games, each designed to test the capabilities of Project Atlas. All of the progress testers accrue during the current run will carry over to their regular Origin accounts. Note that the current test is solely confined to “cloud gaming on PC,” but EA is obviously looking at how to approach cloud gaming on other devices and platforms. The games in the test are:
- FIFA 19
- Need for Speed Rivals
- Titanfall 2
EA also shed some light on how the games are going to be delivered, too. Moss writes that EA is “leveraging AWS [Amazon Web Services] and the public cloud so that we can deploy as close to the players as possible, even in the face of unstable networks and changes in bandwidth.” Questions about the viability of cloud gaming across the US have risen in the face of multiple companies announcing these platforms. As ubiquitous data caps and sometimes monopolistic broadband providers clash with the demand for streaming games and movies, many questions have yet to be answered about cloud gaming’s viability.
As we found earlier this month at PAX West, testing Google’s Stadia streaming project in a controlled environment works well enough, but there’s no telling how well it will perform in the real world. For what it’s worth, this is precisely the reason why EA is running a surprise technical test; testing connections across the world will reveal just how possible Project Atlas will be. If you’re interested in testing Project Atlas, you can sign up through this link.
I got the chance to test out Google’s Project Stream earlier this year, where testers played through Assassin’s Creed Odyssey in Google Chrome. Despite an above-average connection, Project Stream was choppy and frequently stopped and restarted. Testing out a fast multiplayer FPS like Titanfall 2 will be a good way to push Project Atlas to its limits. It’ll be interesting to see just what impressions come of the technical test.