Article: Cloud-Native Unreal Engine: Vision and Status

A vision of the Unreal Engine as the world’s first cloud-native game engine and the progress that has been achieved to date.

Tags: C++, DevOps, Docker, Living Document, Unreal Engine


Revision history

This is a living document that will continue to be updated over time as further progress is made toward achieving the vision of a cloud-native Unreal Engine. Noteworthy revisions to the document are listed below in reverse-chronological order:



By expanding beyond its original game development focus to embrace new industries and use cases, the Unreal Engine has firmly established itself as a powerful and innovative middleware platform with the potential to completely transform content-oriented workflows. The open source nature of the Engine also facilitates significantly increased development velocity and community engagement when compared to competing technologies. As a result of this foundational work, the Unreal Engine is uniquely positioned to benefit from the adoption of modern cloud-oriented technologies and become the world’s first cloud-native game engine.

Cloud-native technologies such as containers and microservices are designed to support the development of modern server-based applications that need to operate at extreme scale whilst retaining the agility to deploy frequent updates. (For more details, see the formal definition from the Cloud Native Computing Foundation). The past decade has seen rapidly accelerating adoption of these technologies and their associated development practices across a wide variety of industries and within organisations of all sizes. Compatibility with cloud-native technologies will allow the Unreal Engine to strengthen its position within a number of key industries that it has already embraced and expand its reach to encompass many additional industries, facilitating an unprecedented breadth of adoption and collaboration.

Industries and use cases

The adoption of cloud-native technologies will strengthen the applicability and value proposition of the Unreal Engine as a middleware platform in each of the industries listed below. Relevant use cases are highlighted for each industry. Note that for reasons of brevity this list is non-exhaustive and focuses only on a selection of key industries and use cases.

Game development

Research and simulation


Key implementation elements

The realisation of a cloud-native Unreal Engine requires the implementation of three key elements:

Implementation status

Since late 2017, the author of this document has worked to establish the foundations of a cloud-native Unreal Engine and pave the way for future development. Several key successes during this time have demonstrated the feasibility of implementing this vision from both a technical perspective and with respect to community engagement. The subsections below list actionable items for of each of the three implementation elements outlined in the Key implementation elements section, discussing the current implementation status of each item. The possible status values are as follows:


Container support

Interoperability with third-party frameworks and protocols

Partner and community engagement

Getting involved

If you are interested in contributing to the realisation of a cloud-native Unreal Engine or would simply like to utilise cloud-native technologies such as containers in your own workflows, feel free to promote this document and its associated projects and initiatives via your own networks and/or contact the author via email at Feedback from the Unreal Engine user demographics listed in the Partner and community engagement section is particularly valuable in shaping the direction of future developments to ensure they meet the needs of the entire Unreal Engine community.

For those readers who are just starting out on their cloud-native Unreal Engine journey, be sure to explore the documentation and training resources provided by the Unreal Containers community hub and follow the Unreal Containers Twitter feed for news about new and updated resources.