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Community Blog How Alibaba Cloud Ignites Gaming Businesses with Agility, Availability, and Productivity

How Alibaba Cloud Ignites Gaming Businesses with Agility, Availability, and Productivity

This blog explores how cloud-based solutions empower gaming businesses for scalable game development, global audience reach, and reduced operational costs.

The gaming industry, a remarkable fusion of technology and art, has witnessed a continuous and exponential growth trajectory since its inception. According to a study by Statista, global gaming revenues are projected to reach a staggering $384.90 Billion by the end of 2023. Furthermore, the industry's evolution is fueled by novel ideas, cutting-edge concepts, emerging technologies, and a plethora of platforms that offer diverse gaming experiences, leading to a transformative shift for game companies worldwide.

Within this industry-wide transformation, creative ideas and technological advancements reign supreme. And with a mature market driven by high levels of competition, the demand for the quick realization of these ideas fuel technological growth. Consequently, the gaming industry heavily invests in the latest cloud-development technologies, adopting agile game development strategies, empowering its infrastructure, and accelerating deployment.

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How the Cloud Helps the Gaming Industry Face Its Challenges

A recent gaming industry survey by Ernst & Young, involving 200 industry leaders from gaming organizations across 12 countries, projected that 83% of game companies are under constant pressure to innovate and create new game experiences. Over the years, innovative game ideas have often been delayed due to various technological and business challenges.

Let’s understand how cloud computing can help game enterprises take on many challenges with game development.

Time-to-Market: It's crucial to understand that the development cycle for a complex and high-production-cost game can span multiple years based on various factors. For instance, the size of the game world, the amount of content, and the complexity of gameplay mechanics can all impact the length of the development cycle. However, increasing competition compels game companies to reduce the time to market for games. Even the most prominent companies within the gaming industry are heavily investing in more agile game development strategies to reduce time to market. One of the ways game companies are reducing their time to market is by relying on cloud-native game development. It allows businesses to significantly improve efficiency and reduce game development and operations costs while leveraging the container orchestration capabilities for rapid deployment and scalability. Furthermore, integrating cloud-native game development with the enterprise's CI/CD processes enables seamless and agile development, ultimately achieving the desired effects of agility in game development. With cloud-based development, game companies shift the processes of game building, testing, and deployment to cloud servers, enabling companies to streamline the game development cycle and thereby reduce the time needed for game creation.

Scalability: Modern games require a robust and scalable infrastructure to support dedicated online services and serve millions of players concurrently worldwide. With online-only and mobile games dominating the market, a scalable architecture is necessary to help the gaming industry’s game development, distribution, and operational needs. Many game companies have started relying on cloud services to meet their scalability needs. For example, in order to scale for a growing user base and plan to launch overseas, game companies are turning to cloud providers that ensure access to flexible resources and global reach. Capabilities such as auto-scaling and global infrastructure with data centers located worldwide allow game companies to deploy their games and services in multiple geographic regions, reducing latency and providing a better experience for players in different parts of the world.

Rising Costs: Game companies must make their game accessible to as many devices as possible. However, testing and configuring games for multiple devices can be cumbersome and expensive. Recent innovations and growth in cloud computing empower gaming businesses with the right tools to improve business processes while reducing operating and infrastructure costs. Additionally, the cloud allows creating virtual testing and pre-release game environments, allowing speed-up deployment. Moreover, cloud services offer a pay-as-you-go pricing model, allowing game companies to avoid large upfront infrastructure investments. By moving to the cloud, game companies can scale resources as needed, which helps optimize cost by aligning expenses with actual usage.

Cybersecurity: Even games with the most secure and reliable architecture are susceptible to cyber-attacks. CC/DDoS attacks can cripple a game’s network leaving millions of users vulnerable to malicious attacks. Cloud-native solutions have integrated functionalities for data backup, disaster recovery, and redundancy. This empowers game companies to establish more secure servers by leveraging a disaster recovery framework and a specialized risk management system offered by top-tier cloud providers.

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How Alibaba Cloud Revolutionizes the Cloud Gaming Landscape

Alibaba Cloud’s tailored solutions for the gaming industry empower businesses with reliable game development and distribution support while ensuring a high-quality experience for their players and users.

Agility in Video Game Development and Distribution

Agility in video game development and distribution can be a key differentiating factor for a market leader in the gaming space. With Alibaba Cloud’s global infrastructure and range of scalable cloud-based solutions, such as ECS, gaming companies can leverage the fastest virtual CPUs and GPUs to develop games. Additionally, Alibaba Cloud’s ACK solution can help accelerate the development cycle by deploying the code within cloud containers, improving operational efficiency. Agile cloud infrastructure also ensures server availability during peak hours. Alibaba Cloud’s Server Load Balancer distributes traffic across various backend servers and scales a gaming company’s capabilities when needed. Virtual CPUs also serve as effective test benches for different devices and device configurations. The cloud allows you to test multiple devices simultaneously, effectively reducing the development cycle.

High Availability and Security Empowering Deployment and Distribution

One of the greatest benefits of cloud computing is its near-global reach. With 3,200+ nodes and 89 availability zones in 30 regions globally, Alibaba Cloud supports game companies in seamlessly deploying and distributing games with low network latency and data consistency. Gaming companies can rely on Alibaba Cloud for both distributed and centralized deployment.

With CDN-powered distribution and a robust global network incorporating 180 Tbps of bandwidth, Alibaba Cloud allows companies to accelerate content delivery and provide a smooth gaming experience to global players. Alibaba Cloud offers a range of network acceleration solutions tailored to various phases of your gaming operations. These solutions effectively alleviate network congestion, enhance gameplay by minimizing lag and reconnection issues, and optimize the distribution of game data from Alibaba Cloud servers to players across diverse regions. Furthermore, Alibaba Cloud also empowers game companies to protect game servers and networks against Tb-level DDoS attacks and the latest web vulnerabilities for games. Solutions, such as Anti-DDoS and Web Application Firewall (WAF), are designed to robustly shield game servers and networks from massive-scale DDoS attacks as well as augment security by automatically identifying and counteracting the web vulnerabilities custom-tailored for gaming contexts.

Optimized Operations and Enhanced Gaming Experience

Cost optimization is the most significant benefit of moving to the cloud for the gaming industry. For the longest time, the nature of game development restricted gaming businesses from relying too heavily on the cloud. However, recent cloud innovations can improve overall productivity by supercharging infrastructure with the cloud. Global gaming organizations leverage customized gaming solutions from Alibaba Cloud to refine player engagement and deliver exceptional experiences. Alibaba Cloud’s database solutions for gaming support game companies to overcome all data problems ensuring data consistency, integrity, and accuracy at the time of game server merges during data migration. Moreover, these solutions streamline and accelerate data recovery, making game data rollback transparent to game players. Live game streaming is a must-have requirement for many modern games, and with Alibaba Cloud, gaming companies can offer stable real-time HD live streaming services at low cost and take their games to the market faster.

Conclusion

Cloud-based gaming solutions will become the norm within a few years. These solutions enhance game development, deployment, distribution, and operational capabilities while reducing operating costs. With the gaming market growing worldwide, it is imperative that gaming businesses start moving toward the cloud. Alibaba Cloud is a preferred partner for gaming businesses worldwide to help them accelerate their digital transformation journey with agile game development, secure and fast global distribution, and cost-effective operations.

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