Sky Mavis has signed a multi-year collaboration with Searce and Google Cloud to strengthen the security of the blockchain network Ronin and advance its vision of building a gaming universe with “cohesive, immersive, and rewarding experiences.”
Headquartered in Singapore, Sky Mavis is a technology-focused games studio and creator of the category-defining non-fungible token (NFT) title, Axie Infinity.
The agreement, supported by implementation partner Searce, sees Google Cloud as the independent enterprise validator for the Ronin network, contributing to its collective security and governance while also taking on the role of monitoring validator uptime. The cloud provider joins a validator node pool that includes Animoca Brands, DappRadar and Nansen.
“Sky Mavis is a powerful example of how the cloud can enable blockchain technologies to innovate and create value for individuals,” said Ruma Balasubramanian, managing director for Southeast Asia at Google Cloud.
“With Searce as our implementation partner, we look forward to working with Sky Mavis to accelerate its product roadmap and grow the Ronin network with secure infrastructure at its core. We’re also excited about the opportunities that this latest collaboration could bring – whether it’s providing enjoyable experiences for users or new business models in game distribution.”
Ronin was built using the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) launched by Sky Mavis in early 2021 to speed up transactions and reduce gas fees for its user ecosystem, allowing millions of in-game microtransactions to run seamlessly.
The product operates on a Proof of Authority (PoA) consensus model, where validators are chosen based on their credibility and are responsible for “verifying, reconciling, and maintaining” a record of transactions on the blockchain.
As part of Sky Mavis’ shift towards decentralization, it proposes new validators and puts them to the vote – the current network then needs at least 70 percent of its existing validators to approve a proposal.
“Validators have an important duty to ensure transactions are processed correctly on Ronin,” added Aleksander Larsen, co-founder and COO of Sky Mavis. “They also serve as key ecosystem partners and regulators.”
Larsen stated that Google Cloud was “naturally one of the top choices” for the partnership, describing the provider as “a recognized contributor to the developer community and with deep technical expertise in blockchain infrastructure and running validators.”
“Google Cloud has been our strategic cloud provider for 2020, so it’s a big deal for us to now welcome them as Ronin’s newest and 18th validator, especially as we move forward with our original goal of having 21 independent validators serving the network secure,” he added.
Building a digital nation
With a goal of establishing Ronin as the standard NFT scaling solution for games and giving users ways to turn their time and effort into real value, Sky Mavis is building out its core offering – Ronin, its proprietary Axie Inifinity game titles and Mavis Hub the infrastructure and low-latency network of Google Cloud.
In addition to helping community developers create and monetize experiences through the Axie Infinity Builders program, Sky Mavis is also turning to Google Cloud to enable the scalable distribution of community-made games and other experiences built through partnerships with major game studios.
According to Sky Mavis, Google Cloud offers “the cleanest cloud in the industry” and would pair well with Ronin – which is engineered to be “more energy efficient” than a transaction on a proof-of-stake blockchain – for the overall environmental impact of its ecosystem to further reduce.
Additionally, the cloud provider’s cloud CDN solution is said to offer users “smooth and reliable” experiences anywhere, on any device, with its “advanced load balancing and caching capabilities.” This is particularly compelling for those making an income with Axie Infinity but living in rural areas with intermittent online connectivity.
“From our time in the Google for Startups cloud program to the present day, Google Cloud and its partner Searce have provided us with the right support at every stage of our growth journey,” said Trung Nguyen, co-founder and CEO of Sky Mavis.
“Whether it’s managing fluctuating traffic so 2.3 million Axie NFT owners enjoy equitable platform experiences, or introducing new mechanisms to drive sustainability in our digital nation.
“We are very excited for our next phase of working with Google Cloud and Searce, especially with their clear commitment to our industry and desire to support us and the wider community with relevant skills for Born-in-Web3 applications.”
Attract world-class talent
As part of its growth plans, Sky Mavis intends to hire 100 people over the next 18 months and has launched Google Workspace as its productivity and collaboration platform, designed to benefit Vietnam’s centralized team of engineers to “connect, create and… to work together”. colleagues around the world.
Sky Mavis has tripled its global team over the past year to support its product roadmap and an “increasing volume” of user-generated games and content within its ecosystem. The partnership with Google Cloud also aims to enable engineers to maximize their talent and make meaningful contributions to the user community.
“After comparing all options, we chose Google Cloud based on a number of key differentiators,” added Viet Anh Ho, co-founder and CTO of Sky Mavis. He cited the cloud provider’s “open-source heritage and managed Kubernetes service” as one of those differentiators.
“Engineers at Google actually invented Kubernetes, so it’s only natural that Google Cloud has the best features for auto-scaling and automated application delivery,” he noted. all without interfering with active gameplay.”
Along with massive amounts of development updates, Sky Mavis is trying to ensure it syncs real-time game states during multiplayer sessions and brings together players of similar skill sets.
By automating application delivery and game server orchestration with zero downtime using Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE), technical teams can avoid manual backend configurations and focus on developing compelling features and products.
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