Gametion goes all-in on AWS and grows its daily active users by 350%, to hit 51 million
Founded in 2010, Gametion is a game development company based in Mumbai, India. With a team of seven full-time employees, the company started out making flash games for computer web browsers. As smartphones proliferated in India, Gametion started to see a dip in user traffic for their web browser games in 2013. Sensing untapped potential, Gametion seized the opportunity to pivot its business to mobile game development and launched several mobile games, including Ludo King in 2016. Ludo King, which is based on the board game Ludo, is a multiplayer game where players can choose to play either offline or online. Today, the mobile game has an average of 51 million daily active users (DAUs).
We are excited to have achieved this level of popularity with our customers, but as a startup, being able to maintain this success is just as critical. Thanks to Flentas and AWS, we are better informed about digital traffic management and how to efficiently manage our IT operations. They have been an extension of our own team throughout this process, and we are prepared to handle unexpected spikes that may arise in the future.
Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Gametion
In the year following Ludo King’s launch, and with the inclusion of the multiplayer feature that many users had been requesting for, the game had amassed an average of 50,000 concurrent users. As user numbers continued to rise, Gametion started to experience issues with managing its increased user traffic. With the third-party multiplayer networking engine (Platform as a Service Engine) that Gametion was running on, about three percent of all Ludo King matches created resulted in drop-offs. Additionally, the costs for maintaining its user base with an externally managed solution began to pile up. Amidst growing concerns of scalability, Gametion decided it was time to explore other solutions to address the challenges they were facing.
“The rapid growth of Ludo King took us all by surprise. We saw a jump in concurrent users from 50,000 to 85,000, over a couple of weeks. That was also when we started to see recurring game drop-offs with our existing engine. We realized that we needed to explore other solutions that could better cope with the surge in users,” says Vikash Jaiswal, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Gametion.
Making the Transition
Gametion saw the need to build an internal multiplayer backend system to manage its increasing user traffic more efficiently and in a cost-effective manner. The Gametion team approached Amazon Web Services (AWS), and Flentas Technologies—an AWS Partner Network Partner—to assist them in making this transition. Through this partnership, Gametion completed the migration from the third-party multiplayer engine onto its own multiplayer backend platform within four months.
“When we were brought in, Gametion was trying to move its existing player base from a third-party multiplayer engine to its own multiplayer backend that they had built on AWS. Back then, the main challenge was that it was not built with scaling in mind, and could not cope with the increased demand,” says Shohel Khatri, Chief Technology Officer and Co-founder, Flentas Technologies. “We took an in-depth look at the existing architecture and came up with a complete re-design which took us three months to implement. The revamped architecture has the potential to scale infinitely in accordance with user demand,” continues Khatri.
With complete migration to AWS, Gametion was able to handle the continued rise in Ludo King’s popularity―even as it crossed the 250 million download mark in 2019, when it also started seeing 15 million DAUs.
In March 2020, when countries began to go into lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Gametion witnessed a sharper spike in user activity for Ludo King. It experienced two million downloads a day, bringing DAUs to 51 million—a three-fold increase from what it was at the end of 2019. With AWS infrastructure already in place, Gametion was well-equipped to handle the steep user growth.
“In a matter of weeks, we saw an increase in active users to nearly three times what we were seeing by the end of 2019. With the AWS infrastructure implemented, we were able to scale at speed to match this increase in traffic flow. We did start to see bottlenecks in our data storage software, but thanks to AWS, we had enough time to come up with a solution. We implemented Amazon Managed Streaming for Apache Kafka as a buffer, to lessen the burden on our data storage software,” says Clarence Pereira, Game Producer, Gametion.
Benefits and Future Plans
In under a decade, Gametion has grown from a seven-man team to a workforce of over 70 full-time employees. Ludo King has registered 475 million downloads to date, and with its current tech stack, Gametion is confident that it will be able to provide uninterrupted services to its user base.
“We are excited to have achieved this level of popularity with our customers, but as a startup, being able to maintain this success is just as critical. Thanks to Flentas and AWS, we are better informed about digital traffic management and how to efficiently manage our IT operations. They have been an extension of our own team throughout this process, and we are prepared to handle unexpected spikes that may arise in the future,” adds Jaiswal.
With its platform for game delivery and maintenance shored up, Gametion is looking to improve other aspects of the user experience for future games. By the end of 2020, Gametion intends to release three new games and plans to stay ahead of any potential challenges that may arise—such as data security—by considering new AWS services.
Gametion is a game development company based in Mumbai, India. Founded in 2010, the company started out by making web browser games for computer systems. The company has since shifted its focus to mobile games, as the Android and iOS platforms have risen in popularity.
Benefits of AWS
- Scalable websockets across fleets of game servers based on player traffic
- Server-independent socket connections allowing distributed game sessions
- Microservices architecture for decreasing the blast radius of component failures
- Reduced user drop-offs by 99.99%
AWS Services Used
Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2)
Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) is a web service that provides secure, resizable compute capacity in the cloud. It is designed to make web-scale cloud computing easier for developers.
Amazon ElastiCache for Redis
Amazon ElastiCache for Redis is a blazing fast in-memory data store that provides sub-millisecond latency to power internet-scale real-time applications. Built on open-source Redis and compatible with the Redis APIs, ElastiCache for Redis works with your Redis clients and uses the open Redis data format to store your data. Your self-managed Redis applications can work seamlessly with ElastiCache for Redis without any code changes.
Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3)
Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) is an object storage service that offers industry-leading scalability, data availability, security, and performance. This means customers of all sizes and industries can use it to store and protect any amount of data for a range of use cases, such as websites, mobile applications, backup and restore, archive, enterprise applications, IoT devices, and big data analytics.
Amazon Route 53
Amazon Route 53 is a highly available and scalable cloud Domain Name System (DNS) web service. It is designed to give developers and businesses an extremely reliable and cost effective way to route end users to Internet applications by translating names like www.example.com into the numeric IP addresses like 192.0.2.1 that computers use to connect to each other. Amazon Route 53 is fully compliant with IPv6 as well.
Amazon CloudFront is a fast content delivery network (CDN) service that securely delivers data, videos, applications, and APIs to customers globally with low latency, high transfer speeds, all within a developer-friendly environment. CloudFront is integrated with AWS – both physical locations that are directly connected to the AWS global infrastructure, as well as other AWS services.
Amazon MSK is a fully managed service that makes it easy for you to build and run applications that use Apache Kafka to process streaming data. Apache Kafka is an open-source platform for building real-time streaming data pipelines and applications. With Amazon MSK, you can use native Apache Kafka APIs to populate data lakes, stream changes to and from databases, and power machine learning and analytics applications.
Amazon CloudWatch is a monitoring and observability service built for DevOps engineers, developers, site reliability engineers (SREs), and IT managers. CloudWatch provides you with data and actionable insights to monitor your applications, respond to system-wide performance changes, optimize resource utilization, and get a unified view of operational health.
Amazon Elastic Load Balancing (ELB)
Elastic Load Balancing automatically distributes incoming application traffic across multiple targets, such as Amazon EC2 instances, containers, IP addresses, and Lambda functions. It can handle the varying load of your application traffic in a single Availability Zone or across multiple Availability Zones.
Companies of all sizes across all industries are transforming their businesses every day using AWS. Learn more about how to build data lakes and analytics on AWS and start your own AWS Cloud journey today.