The creative forces behind the online gaming industry will always push the limits of technology. But to turn new ideas into reality, it’s critical that online game developers have the right IT Infrastructure in place. Let’s take a look at five challenges that online gaming publishers must address in order to maintain player loyalty and deliver an exceptional user experience.
Speed-to-market – Increased competition can threaten your competitive advantage, making speed-to-market a critical factor. To address this challenge, online game production teams are making use of on-demand computing and storage infrastructure. Public cloud and dedicated servers offer ideal solutions for studios that need to quickly spin up computing resources for development, testing, beta and launch cycles.
Availability – If there’s one thing that strikes fear in the heart of MMOGs, it’s downtime. Online game publishers who choose to build out their infrastructure with resiliency or high availability in mind are more likely to ensure a positive gaming experience. Custom hosting solutions like managed hosting, private cloud or colocation typically provide more failover options and custom configurations.
Latency – Do you know how sensitive your game is to latency? Identifying the threshold is the first step to determining which infrastructure solution will be right for you. Options for reducing server-side latency include dedicated physical hardware, customized servers with specialty elements like high I/O disks and specialty flash drives. On the network side, tech ops teams are overriding BGP routing decisions through multi-carrier optimization, using UDP and TCP acceleration techniques and leveraging edge caching for static file delivery.
Scalability – Will your newly launched game be able to handle a sudden influx of players? The prevalent shift from a subscription model to free-to-play has resulted in an increased need for data center services for online gaming companies. Public cloud and dedicated hosting services can also help you meet fluctuating demand because of their ability to be turned on or off with minimal ramp-up time.
Infrastructure costs – On-demand and cloud infrastructure platforms can help startup studios minimize initial investments for new games and development projects. Whether demand is predictable or not, it’s helpful to have options that can meet your needs. For example, a hybrid approach leveraging a combination of colocation, complex hosting, dedicated hosting or cloud may ultimately prove to be the best architecture choice over the lifecycle of the game.
Did you know Internap provides IT Infrastructure to one-third of the world’s largest online gaming companies? To learn more about how game developers can address these challenges, download our white paper, Five Considerations for Building Online Gaming Infrastructure.
EVE Online image provided by CCP Games