Unless you’re a Final Fantasy fan or at least an avid gamer, the company’s name might mean little to you. That might be well and good since Shinra Technologies barely has anything to do with the game franchise, other than being spun off from Square Enix. And unlike its in-game counterpart, Shinra isn’t obsessed with sucking the world dry of resources. Instead, it is actually interested in building worlds. Virtual worlds, that is. And its first plan of action to make available the Community Cloud Development Kit to indie game developers for free.
Cloud-based gaming, also known as game streaming, is slowly but surely becoming a thing. Square Enix wanted to part of that but wanted to do things differently. And it wanted to embrace more game developers and stake holders, hence spinning off and independent company. In almost all cases, game streaming involves rendering an already existing game, usually a console title, on a remote machine and then just streaming rendered images and player controls back and forth between remote server and gaming console.
In contrast, Shinra wants the game worlds to be built and run on its cloud directly. Its cloud services isn’t simply like a remote PlayStation or Xbox, rendering for a single game for a single player. Shinra’s supercomputers can be utilized to support much more than that. Sure it can do that traditional 1:1 setup, as Shinra also calls that architecture, but it can also support an N:N situation not unlike your massive multiplayer online games or even a 1:N architecture, with one supercomputer linking dozens of players in a single multiplayer instance.
Lofty goals indeed, but they only make sense if there are games to actually take advantage of those resources. With the CCDK, Shinra hopes to entice indie developers to test the waters and build their worlds on its supercomputers, with the implicit promise of making their games available to almost anyone in the future, thanks to game streaming. Again bucking the trend, Shinra is making its SDK available completely for free on GitHub (though not open source), an offer that very few indie developers can refuse.