To launch a multiplayer game globally, you probably think you’ve got two options: migrate to the cloud or go all-in with new infrastructure. But the risk, cost, and complexity can sink you. In this VB Live event, we’ll reveal how developers can defeat the major technological challenges and go big, instead of staying home.
“At a very basic level, creating an infrastructure for multiplayer games has always been extremely difficult,” says Nelson Rodriguez, director of games industry marketing at CDN giant Akamai Technologies whose client list includes Ubisoft, Nintendo, Electronic Arts, and Microsoft. “Players are all over the world, and the distances can make it very painful to develop a stable and fast connection — and game play is really sensitive when it comes to latency.”
In every industry, on every site and in every context, people are increasingly impatient when the internet (which Rodriguez, says, is “painfully poorly designed”) seems to choke for even a split second. In retail it’s a pain. But a multiplayer game is constantly active, highly latently sensitive, and it’s happening in real time across long distances between millions and millions of gamers—all of whom you’ll lose if you lag.
“If you click a button to add a pair of boots to your shpoping cart, and it takes a second, maybe it’s a pain but you can deal with it,” explains Rodriguez. “But if you press a button to fire a missile, it can’t take a second. It can’t even take a half a second — it has to take 150 milliseconds at max before it starts to break down.”
“It almost gives you a headache, if you think about how massive the technical challenge is,” Rodriguez adds. And it’s always been there.
“But one trend that’s starting to shape the globalization of games is that you’re starting to see new markets open that weren’t open before, as networks improve,” he continues. “And publishers in those markets are seeing that they could reach Europe, or North America, with the same game and make more money.”
When you want to seize on the brand and revenue potential of going global, Rodriguez says, you have three choices to overcome the challenges.
Choice one: Build out a team, build out a server farm, build out your global footprint by putting a team on the ground in the market you’re trying to reach.
Choice two? The popular cloud option; aka the “I don’t have to do it, I’m just going to hand it over to a cloud provider” choice.
And yet these options have thrown companies of every size into the weeds. They’re full of risk, both very visible and sneakily hidden expenses and complexity, and a real danger of failure before you get off the ground.
“The third choice that most people really don’t think about is figuring out how to gain efficiencies with the existing footprint that you have,” Rodriguez says. “In other words, you don’t have to just accept that the internet’s going to be terrible and therefore you have to put new servers in new places.”
Companies are increasingly able to maintain the same server footprint and use routing and latency prevention techniques to make it at least more stable, if not even faster, to connect over longer distances than what was previously thought possible, he explains.
“What is driving us is that we’re starting to see a new way of solving this problem emerging out of our Korean team and out of our Korean customers,” Rodriguez explains. “We’re saying, several companies are now starting to do this, and in the U.S., folks haven’t really started thinking about the problem in the same way.”
For insight into how developers worldwide are solving for risk and expense, what you need to know about hybrid solutions, the deceptive costliness of the cloud and more, don’t miss this free VB Live event!
Don’t miss out!
In this VB Live event you’ll learn:
- What game mechanics and protocol questions you need to ask when designing your global launch
- What risks to look out for in terms of network stability and reach in different parts of the world
- How to mitigate internet roadblocks from a centralized data center
- Nelson Rodriguez, Director, Games Industry Marketing, Akamai Technologies
- Vincent Low, Director of Business Development for Gaming, Akamai Technologies
- Wendy Schuchart, Analyst, VentureBeat