Although Pokemon Go has fewer latency concerns than a FPS/MMO, which Ubisoft (Rainbow 6 Siege, The Division) excels at.
I wouldn't phrase things quite like that. While FPSes and MMOs might require low-latency links between individual servers and individual players, those links are usually long-lived enough for the ARP tables, TCP window sizes, etc. to get comfortable.
Pokemon Go, and other medium-bandwidth casual mobile games, have players expecting low-latency even while constantly having their phone kill and reopen the app, while also travelling between different cells (and thus ending up with different IPs and having their local-most IP switch have to re-path their connections.) And they only play for three minutes at a stretch. This causes a large share of the message traffic to hit at least one "un-warmed" leg on its journey, even if you do all your server architecture correctly.
Of course, things could be even worse: you could have a casual, mobile FPS.
Someone please make this game so we can weed out the bugs in the cellular system.
Most game publishers have specialized divisions - Demonware for Activision, EA no doubt has one too - that build closely guarded proprietary multiplayer networking toolkits, as it becomes part of their competitive advantage..
Excited to see how this pans out..
edit: I hadn't heard of AWS GameLift before..
Networking with UE4 would be interesting given what Epic has learned with Fortnite.
Those engines do come with some networking I believe, but I don't think they come with full server-side game code libraries for matchmaking, server routing, etc..
But maybe I'm wrong, I've only dabbled with those engines as a hobbyist.
Is this an open source competitor? How do they compare?
Agones is focused more on massive scaling for individual servers. i.e. making it significantly easier to scale up and down servers based on demand (similar to AWS GameLift), but from what I see there is no world-sharing across them as that isn't the point of this specific project.
It's an interesting solution to a common problem. We work in a similar space and use Kubernetes extensively for managing our services behind the scenes, it's particularly useful for mobile games as they have a lot of peak/trough traffic throughout the course of a day, let alone during a featuring on an App Store or a live event which drives traffic through the roof for a very brief period of time.
Really cool to see this go open source. I really miss working on stuff like that. Sigh.
Also, maybe they can get a large training set of how human players act/spend/etc in complex games, which could be a very useful training data set for their own reinforcement learning/AI efforts?