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GDC Sponsor Q&A: Agora's Hermes Frangoudis on Increasing Engagement Through Voice Chat

At GDC 2022, attendees will have the opportunity to interact with an array of sponsors who help fuel the game industry. As you plan your sessions schedule and GDC Expo tour, be sure to check out the offerings from our sponsors who play a key role to the success of GDC 2022.

To give you a better sense of what the expect from the show and our partner Agora, we got in touch with Hermes Frangoudis, Director of Developer Relations and Partner Engineering, to find out more about Agora's audio streaming and expansion into the metaverse.

Could you please introduce yourself and your role at Agora?

I am Hermes Frangoudis, the director of developer relations and partner engineering. My team focuses on the end-to-end developer experience when using Agora’s SDK’s and APIs. We create written guides, YouTube videos, sample apps, and low code solutions for the Agora Developer community.

What’s the most exciting thing Agora is looking forward to presenting at GDC?

This will be our return to GDC (we had a booth in 2019), so we are hoping to show game developers how Agora can bring increased engagement to their games through voice and video chat and streaming. I’m excited to show the demos we’ve built over the past two years.

Over the past two years, playing and connecting with people across distances has become vital—but latency hasn’t always matched our needs! How has Agora risen to this challenge?

Agora has always understood the importance of connecting people in real-time and that the internet’s architecture is not optimized for low latency. That’s why Agora built its own network, that alleviates many of the pain points through features like smart routing so the voice and video data can be delivered along the shortest and least congested path, industry leading packet-loss detection with retransmit, Agora’s audio streaming can sustain up to 50% packet-loss and still deliver an audible audio stream. Two years ago, as the world went virtual, Agora’s network saw a huge influx of usage, scaling from 20b to 50b minutes per month. Over these last two years we have maintained an industry leading uptime without any network outages even during instances when major hosting providers and DNS providers were having issues and reporting outages, Agora streams kept flowing.

Agora has done great work in the VR space, are there plans to extend this into the metaverse as well?

Agora has been powering the 2D metaverse for years and in the past year we have seen many metaverse customers go live such as Verbella, TribeXR, and HTC Vive Sync. Last year, we debuted our partnership with HTC to provide their customers with industry leading voice and video for their enterprise VR applications.

What’s one thing you do or enjoy that might surprise people about you?

I started my career as a full stack web and iOS dev, and transitioned to AR/VR, so in my free time I like to do some basic 3d modeling and building open source WebAR projects.

Head here for more information about Agora and its services! 

GDC 2022 will take place from March 21-25 at the Moscone Convention Center in San Francisco, California, with our virtual event happening March 21 to April 1. This year’s event will deliver the industry’s greatest source of content and connections—with plenty of exciting talks, sessions, and networking events. Register for GDC 2022 today!

GDC returns in-person to San Francisco, March 21-25—registration is open! For more information on GDC 2022, including our virtual options, be sure to visit our website and follow the #GDC22 hashtag on social media.

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