AccelByte, a platform that helps game creators build back-end tools and services, has raised $60 million in Series B led by SoftBank Vision Fund 2, with participation from Sony Interactive Entertainment and returning sponsors Galaxy Interactive. and NetEase.
The company’s last funding announcement was in August 2021 for a $10 million Series A led by Galaxy Interactive. To date, the startup has raised a total of $70 million. Accelbyte did not disclose its valuation.
AccelByte’s platform enables developers to build, scale, and operate live service games across the entire player experience loop, including lobby, friends, matchmaking, cloud progression, achievements, game pass, and more. season, launcher and patch and more.
The Seattle-based startup will use the money to improve the back-end platform for game creators and support the continued development of the tools to operate AAA-quality live service games at scale.
AccelByte CEO Junaili Lie, who previously led the back-end engineering team at Epic Games, founded this startup in 2016. While working at Epic Games, Lie realized that there was nothing flexible enough to support the strong back-end requirements for the then fledgling Epic platform his team had taken it upon themselves to build. Lie told TechCrunch that he wants to democratize game creation and give independent creators, no matter how big or small, the same access to AAA-quality tools and platforms to create games and multiplayer experiences.
The company has seen strong traction as the games industry has seen explosive growth in well-funded and venture-backed studios. AccelByte claims that it has tripled its number of clients since Series A, and more than 30 studios are being built on the AccelByte platform, Lie told TechCrunch. His current clients include Dreamhaven, Build A Rocket Boy, 1047 Games, KRAFTON, Deep Silver Volition, Theorycraft Games, Remedy Entertainment, Raid Base and Starbreeze Studios, among others, Lie noted.
“Many of those creators have started building live service games and at the same time realizing how difficult it is to build a scalable back-end platform from scratch. This results in delayed ship dates, titles that have trouble scaling at launch, and a backlog of live service features that are never implemented in-game,” Lie said in an interview. “Building a bespoke back-end platform distracts and diverts resources from what game makers really want to do: perfect the core gameplay loop for their players.”
AccelByte says that game developers can extend the individual services of the AccelByte platform, which are based on a microservices architecture, to meet the unique requirements of their games. Lie said that AccelByte has a host of microservices, including cross-platform matchmaking, player progression, entitlements and catalogs, season passes, and more. It is platform independent of the game engine, with Unreal and Unity software development kits (SDKs) available and supports cross-platform play on PC, Xbox, PlayStation, Nintendo Switch, iOS and Android.
“Unlike competitors PlayFab and GameSparks, AccelByte is a single-tenant offering where each customer is provisioned in a dedicated environment that is hugely scalable to millions of gamers. This means that each and every microservice is fully customizable, extensible, and [if need be] forkable to meet the unique requirements of that particular game studio,” said Lie.
In 2018, Microsoft acquired PlayFab and Amazon acquired GameSparks to bolster their game infrastructure platform business.
AccelByte has more than 300 employees around the world, including in Canada, Indonesia, and China.
“As gaming becomes more complex with the rise of cross-platform and live multiplayer services, there is a greater need for scalable and efficient infrastructure to minimize time to market,” said Robert Kaplan, chief investment officer at SoftBank Investment. advisors. “We believe that AccelByte has created a leading back-end solution for the gaming industry, giving developers the platform and tools to scale games faster, easier and cheaper.”
“Building massive and expansive online worlds requires significant technical infrastructure to ensure creators can achieve their vision,” said Lin Tao, senior vice president of finance, corporate development and strategy at Sony Interactive Entertainment.