Vizor Games Launches into PC and Console Market using AWS
Vizor Games wanted to grow beyond its traditional market for mobile and web browser games. It decided to enter the PC and console space with a competitive multi-player game called Blood of Heroes. For its international launch, the company knew it would need a complete change in the company’s technical infrastructure. Vizor Games used AWS to develop the architecture for Blood of Heroes, refine the quality of the game, and launch open and closed beta testing to thousands of users worldwide, ahead of its launch.
Without AWS, it would be much harder to stick to our timeline for the official launch day."
Technical Lead at Vizor Games
Vizor Games Launches into PC and Console Market using AWS
Headquartered in Minsk, Belarus, Vizor Games has gained an international reputation by developing games such as Zombie Island and Klondike for mobile devices and social networks. The company’s games are played by millions of people worldwide.
Vizor Games wanted to grow beyond its existing markets and venture into the PC and console space with a competitive multi-player combat game called Blood of Heroes. A 100-strong specialist team was assembled, which increased headcount to almost 1,000 employees, including external studios.
Alexander Sorokin, technical lead at Vizor Games, knew moving into the highly competitive space needed an overhaul of the company’s technical infrastructure.
As he planned the requirements for the new infrastructure, Sorokin met representatives from Amazon Web Services (AWS) at a conference in Minsk. “From the very start, the account manager and AWS solution architect helped us a lot with both technical and business advice, which is just what we needed,” he says.
An Infrastructure to Meet the Demands of International Gamers
Vizor Games was planning an initial drive into European and US markets, with an APAC launch on the horizon. That meant it needed a reliable and geographically distributed infrastructure.
The nature of Blood of Heroes requires the company to keep dedicated servers close to where players are located across the world to ensure low latency. Servers would need to scale quickly to cope with peak loads during prime playing times and marketing campaigns. Should something in the backend fail, the launch would be in jeopardy.
The company also wanted a hybrid approach that would allow it to securely connect its local on-premises data center to the cloud, and multiple test and production environments to develop the best solution for the game.
Vizor Games had to design and test the architecture to host the game on an entirely data-driven and cloud-based architecture. It then built a technical proof of concept.
The closed and open stages of beta testing have seen thousands of gamers around the world playing the game and giving feedback on its design and functionality. To give an idea of scale, the game client installation is 10–12 GB. With hundreds of thousands of active gamers playing, Blood of Heroes can generate petabytes of traffic.
The Blood of Heroes game was deployed on Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service (Amazon EKS), Amazon RDS for PostgreSQL, and Amazon Managed Streaming for Apache Kafka (Amazon MSK). Vizor Games uses Amazon EC2 Spot Instances for on-demand compute resources to ensure game performance meets players’ expectations—even as the number of players fluctuates.
A Successful Launch and Ambitious Growth Plans
“The main advantage is that AWS now covers the critical needs for the project operation. It is much more convenient than using a large number of partners for different parts of the project,” says Sorokin.
Time to market is crucial for a game to reach its intended audience, something which Sorokin was very aware of.
“Without AWS, it would be much harder to stick to our timeline for the official launch day. We deployed game servers in the EU much faster than if we had used local infrastructure. AWS helps because we can focus on the project, and we don’t have the need for engineers who are dedicated to simply maintaining the backend. Thanks to that, our project is evolving right now, and allowing us to test new prototypes,” he says.
With everything on track for launch, Vizor Games is now planning to move other elements of its business on to AWS, such as its development process.
With competitive gaming more popular than ever, the company is optimistic about building a dedicated online community of fans—and having access to wider AWS gaming services is an advantage.
“We’ve already launched three of our mobile games on the Amazon App Store. Klondike Adventures, Mahjong Treasure Quest, and Zombie Castaways,” says Kate Baturina, business development lead at Vizor Games.
In addition, Vizor is also setting up a global merchandise collaboration for Klondike Adventures. “We’ve never done merchandise before, but using AWS, we have designed several artworks so gamers can pick their favorite—it’s a cool opportunity,” adds Baturina.
“We’re also in contact about user acquisition with Amazon Advertising, and are exploring other business links with Amazon Prime and Amazon Pay.”
“Regarding our ambitions, we feel like there are hundreds of millions of players who could be our audience,” says Fedor Vinokurov, publishing director at Vizor Games. “Now we are confident that the game has the technical infrastructure it needs to grow and reach its full commercial potential.”
About Vizor Games
Vizor is a leading international developer of multiplayer games for browsers, social networks, and mobile platforms. It was founded in 2007 and now has around 1,000 employees and millions of players all over the world.
Benefits of AWS
- A reliable geographically distributed system lets users across the world play with low latency
- AWS offers on-demand compute resources to ensure a high level of game performance
- Rapid deployment of game servers helps Vizor stick to its timeline for launch
AWS Services Used
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 EKS is a managed container service to run and scale Kubernetes applications in the cloud or on-premises.
Amazon Relational Database Service (Amazon RDS) makes it easy to set up, operate, and scale a relational database in the cloud.
Amazon MSK makes it easy to ingest and process streaming data in real time with fully managed Apache Kafka.
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