Home » Region boosts over 100 million gamers

Region boosts over 100 million gamers

Philip Liu, General Manager of the Middle East and Africa, Alibaba Cloud Intelligence talks about the gaming industry, and how is Alibaba’s technology and architecture is enabling industry to offer a better reach and overall gaming experience to the users.

Can you highlight your findings in the white paper published recently titled Gaming Industry: Multi-Scenario Cloud Database Solutions, briefly?
Global gaming industry revenues are increasing rapidly while several other industries are experiencing a downturn due to COVID-19. The whitepaper on the gaming industry finds that the core development directions of game companies in the industry are strengthening precision marketing. These companies are increasingly winning public acclaim for their efforts in improving the overall gaming experience for users. A reliable and stable technical architecture – in particular, a dependable database that is a core component of this architecture – is key in continuing to achieve customer expectations. Through deep research, we have identified that the gaming industry’s data requirements include highly customized technical architectures, smooth data migration and agile data recovery, among other factors.

How is the gaming industry in the Middle East adapting to the transformation to the cloud?
The Middle East gaming industry is booming and it is estimated that there are over 100 million gamers in the region. The gaming industry in the GCC region, in particular, in the UAE and Saudi Arabia, are expected to grow even more in the coming years and are set to emerge as the region’s most promising markets for gamers. From the beginning, cloud technologies have driven trends across the gaming industry, especially mobile gaming. Cloud computing plays a crucial role in providing a seamless experience for gamers – offering direct playability all over the world and across all their devices.

The life cycle of a product (the game) is relatively short compared to other industries, but the iteration is fast. What this means is that the gaming industry needs to rely on cloud-based solutions to ensure it can develop, deploy, and upgrade products rapidly to attract and support its users.

What are the major hurdles that you foresee during the cloud transformation?
Many gaming companies only purchase an Elastic Compute Service (ECS) for its advanced computing performance and high elasticity, without using any other cloud-based products. Instead, they choose to build their own databases and develop security systems. However, this cannot be considered a complete cloud transformation. The cost factor may be a challenge, especially for small and medium-sized companies. Also, with gaming companies usually comprising more technical R&D personnel, their reliance on technology vendors is limited when compared to other industries.

Can you elaborate on the advantages that both gaming vendors and their subscribers enjoy by cloud adoption?
One of the main advantages is that a new game can go online fast and that iteration happens quickly – some of the smaller games can even be developed and put online in just a few hours. The elasticity of cloud technology allows gaming companies to manage their subscribers’ demands around the clock with flexibility and efficiency. This means user experience can be guaranteed even during peak hours.

In gaming scenarios, we not only have to reduce the latency as much as possible, but also ensure latency is more or less consistent for all subscribers around the globe in the interest of fairness during gameplay. Therefore, if a cloud service provider has a global infrastructure and a vast nodes network, it could solve the latency issue easily and deliver a better user experience for game subscribers. The Alibaba Cloud Content Delivery Network (Alibaba Cloud CDN) is a distributed network solution built on top of a carrier network that solves internet congestion and speeds up access to web applications. We have over 2,800 nodes in more than 70 countries on six continents. This guarantees that users can be assigned to nearby nodes and experience high-quality gaming – no matter where they are.

Can you name a few early cloud adopters from the gaming industry in this region and quote a successful transformation story?
Leading Arab mobile game developer, ONEMT Limited, is one of our customers in the region. One of its games, Revenge of Sultans, has surged in popularity since its launch. Like many of its counterparts, the gaming company experienced a rapid increase in the number of users due to the pandemic. Therefore, it chose Alibaba Cloud’s cloud-native solutions to ensure that the gaming experience is stable and seamless even when massive concurrency is experienced.

How different are Alibaba’s Cloud Gaming solutions from its competition?
From an infrastructure perspective, Alibaba Cloud operates 69 availability zones in 23 regions around the world and has 2,800+ CDN nodes in more than 70 countries. CDN networks replace the traditional data transmission mode centered on web servers and distributes user requests to the most suitable nodes, and enables the fastest possible retrieval of requested content.

On the products front, Alibaba Cloud has extremely rich instance families to satisfy customer needs in different application scenarios such as enhancing storage and security, optimizing compute and accelerating GPUs.

We also provide a pay-as-you-go model with clear pricing and terms. Companies, especially SMEs, can freely switch between billing methods and enjoy low-cost and high-quality cloud services to minimize operational expenses.

With countries now starting to implement stricter data privacy laws that restrict data transfer and exchange outside their borders, how do you think such laws would affect the cloud adoption by various gaming platforms that have subscribers across the globe?
Gaming companies may adopt a hybrid cloud approach, with sensitive information backed up through on-premise storage, according to local laws and regulations, while all other information is stored on the cloud and may be retrieved as per a company’s needs.

How do you safeguard the sensitive data against breeches?
As online gaming gains greater traction, security threats are becoming a serious challenge for most gaming companies. Alibaba Cloud offers a comprehensive suite of gaming security solutions such as Anti-DDoS Basic to protect against isolated incidents and security failures while also ensuring the user experience is seamless and that high-availability is maintained at all times.

How do you ensure that the accessibility of the gaming platform is fail-safe?
One of the many benefits of cloud-native solutions is that data can be backtracked and recovered when lost – helping to minimize the impact. Alibaba Cloud offers disaster recovery solutions to ensure the high availability of enterprise data and services through combining disaster recovery with data backup. The core aim of a disaster recovery solution is to help enterprises balance the needs of recovery time objective (RTO) and recovery point objective (RPO) and find the optimal technologies and means of implementation. From an economic perspective, the solution helps enterprises optimize their total cost of ownership (TCO) and return on investment (ROI).

What is Alibaba Cloud’s future roadmap and growth expectation for this region?
The GCC region’s technology infrastructure is growing rapidly and becoming more mature. Current trends of the gaming industry indicate that companies require stronger max compute power to develop augmented reality, virtual reality, and 3D games to address the growing user demand. We look forward to working closely with local partners to further accelerate the gaming industry’s cloud transformation while supporting gaming companies with high-performance products and solutions.

Have your say!

0 0

Lost Password

Please enter your username or email address. You will receive a link to create a new password via email.