Making virtual quiz games more accessible with KwizzBit and AWS
Founded in 2016, KwizzBit is a cloud-based quiz platform, which fuses cutting-edge smartphone technology, with traditional pub quiz formats. It creates a fantastic interactive platform for 21st century quiz nights. Designed and developed by a team of tech and gamification enthusiasts, the company has ambitions to scale to more than 1 million regular players by the end of 2025, in addition to onboarding 5% of the UK’s 20,000 quiz playing pubs.
KwizzBit migrated to AWS in 2017, to address the service administration, scalability, and security challenges it was experiencing with its previous provider. “Initially the appeal of AWS was the ease of managing and customizing the stack, our ability to ramp up more servers without having to contact anyone, and improving our security posture without needing to commit to minimum usage requirements” says John Sheard, CTO of KwizzBit.
More recently, with the impact of COVID-19 on physical pubs and clubs, the company realized that it needed to pivot to a virtual business model that could support online players at volume. “Physical pubs may have closed, but players still wanted to interact and compete socially in the same way as they did in their weekly pub quiz. We wanted to find a way to bring that to everyone wanting to take part remotely, or from the comfort of their home,” commented Sheard.
To achieve this, KwizzBit needed to expand the platform’s digital capabilities. “The AWS Game Tech team has been instrumental in guiding us to make the correct technology choices, and enable us to deliver our vision at scale. We use Amazon EC2 and AWS Auto Scaling to improve the robustness and scalability of our applications. We also use Amazon Cognito to handle player authentication, protect access to user accounts, and provide risk-based adaptive authentication,” says Sheard.
KwizzBit also migrated its MySQL database to Amazon Aurora, helping them scale database deployment based on-demand surges. This improved database security through nearly continuous monitoring and ongoing backs ups to Amazon S3, enabling granular, point-in-time recovery if there are failures.
Since migrating to AWS, KwizzBit has not only reduced operational costs. The company can now attract new B2C markets, and have had interest from large organizations such as the National Health Service and British Armed Forces. “Using AWS has enabled us to reduce our base footprint cost and amend our pricing structure* to be more competitive. This allows us to pass on those savings to our customers,” says Founder and CEO Mark Walsh. “Before COVID-19 and before re-architecting, we were experiencing around 12,000 monthly players. Thanks to the support of the wider AWS Game Tech team, we’ve been able to increase our capacity and support more players to enjoy virtual quizzes. Our monthly player numbers are increasing comfortably to over 50,000,” says Walsh.
Looking to the future, KwizzBit has further plans to delve into the cloud. “By realizing the potential of the platform under the guidance of AWS Game Tech, we’ve been able to re-architect our solution to deliver at scale, and deploy at pace using AWS best practices. We continue to work closely with them, and are looking forward to implementing iOS and Android apps using AWS Amplify and Amazon IVS to live stream major quiz events and smaller B2C games tournaments” concludes Sheard.