Google Cloud

Stepping up your game with Google Cloud

With over 2.5 billion gamers around the world, the gaming industry continues to grow rapidly. Developers working at gaming companies are set with a daunting task: no matter what, games must remain up and running to maintain an optimal gaming experience and maximize the daily active users (DAU). Both functionality improvements and peak player volumes require increased computational power, therefore scalability challenges are inseparable from the gaming industry. With scalability and load balancing solutions, Google Cloud makes this a thing of the past.  

By handling some operational concerns, Google Cloud allows game developers to spend more time doing what they love: developing fun and competitive games. Using innovative technologies, Google Cloud enables developers to increase their game’s performance and optimize it for better user experiences. Second, it allows for more efficient, agile working processes. How? Read how King and Rovio, two renowned game developers, leverage Google Cloud’s capabilities to make scalable, reliable, and exciting games.

Optimal game performance with data unification and agile working
In the process of building even better games, King, known for developing Candy Crush Saga, uses Google Cloud. King enjoys the stability at scale, as well as data unification and innovation possibilities brought by Google Cloud. Previously, King maintained its own petabyte-scale data infrastructure on-premises. However, its open-source query engine suffered stability issues. In addition, King’s data was scattered across different on-premise platforms. As a result, developers often had to wait for data migration before getting to their core tasks.

To advance game development and increase stability, King moved its infrastructure operations to Google Cloud. BigQuery, Google Cloud’s data warehouse, was used to unify the data, which was previously scattered across different platforms. BigQuery improves the performance of King’s games and allows for further optimization. Nicholas Brenwald, Principal Engineer at King, says: “BigQuery forms the core of our new analytics platform and we are already heavily invested with over 10 petabytes stored. We love it, it takes us out of the capacity planning game, and being a fully managed service allows us to focus on use cases actually relevant to King and gaming.” 

Furthermore, King’s teams are now able to work more agile than ever. Teams work in their own environments in Google Cloud, enabling them to create BigQuery datasets or provision virtual machines without filing a request to a coordinating team first. And finally, BigQuery allows King to test new data structures, as well as build “virtual players” to test games. Using Google Cloud’s ML (machine learning) services such as BigQuery ML and ML Engine, King builds and uses ML models to train these virtual players. Next, BigQuery’s rapid data gathering and analysis allow King to do what is truly important: optimizing games. Read more about how King leverages the reliability and scalability of Google Cloud here

Creating an optimal gaming experience
For many years, Google has provided game developers with technology to build great games. One of the early technologies was Google App Engine. Rovio (the developers of a.o. Angry Birds) already experienced the scalability advantages of Google App Engine. Rovio has used Google App Engine for both their mobile and online games. In 2011 Rovio transformed the Angry Birds app into an online game. Since they used Google App Engine as a basis, the company was able to launch new games in small teams and with high speed: “Google App Engine automates a lot of processes, which has made our jobs easier,” states Stefan Hauk, former Lead Server Programmer at Rovio.

Google App Engine is a managed application platform that supports any language, library, or framework you wish to work with. It automatically balances your game across multiple availability zones, ensuring it can be played at all times. Moreover, Google App Engine scales up and down automatically, enabling constant access to sufficient computing power. Combined, this enables developers to create an optimal gaming experience. 

Do you want to create better games for your players with less infrastructure complexity? Then please click here to discover Google Cloud’s various gaming solutions.

Sources: