Gaming performance is a primary concern for most developers. New gaming developers can have the best code and gameplay on the market, but without performance a game will lose its subscribers as soon as lag and high ping times are part of the experience. Poor game performance is a killer for any application, but for an online game it can mean the end of success. A CDN can alleviate many of the performance hurdles during launch and gameplay, but developers should do their research and ensure that the CDN can offer what’s needed in a successful, fast online game.
Can the CDN Handle a Traffic Surge?
Online games regularly experience huge traffic spikes during initial release or patch days. A gaming developer could potentially have thousands of subscribers request content from a server at the same time. Not only could there be high traffic spikes, but downloads are usually several gigabytes, which also puts a high load on servers.
A CDN provides infrastructure to handle these spikes in traffic including floods of packets due to a distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack. Traditional origin servers can buckle when traffic exhausts resources and bandwidth limits.
Will a Traffic Surge Destroy Performance?
Because a CDN is mainly used for performance, gaming developers should look for a CDN that can handle traffic spikes without compromising performance. Online games that suffer performance issues are the first to lose subscribers, and word travels fast in the gaming community.
A CDN with a true global presence will be able to handle traffic spikes, because content is distributed and cached across edge servers. Gaming subscribers request content from the nearest data center within a geographic location. CDNs use data centers at precise locations to preserve performance whether it’s for a gamer close to the developer’s office or thousands of miles on another continent.
How is Pricing?
New gaming developers have a strict budget, and a CDN should provide the right pricing tiers to handle tight IT budgets. These prices should scale with the number of subscribers. Initially, the gaming developer has few subscribers, so pricing is low due to the small amount of bandwidth usage. As the game becomes more popular, a developer will have higher costs, but these costs also scale with the number of paying subscribers.
What about Security?
Any company that has an Internet presence should take cyber security precautions against attackers including gaming developers. To protect resources and customer data privacy, the gaming developer should use only a CDN that has the right security infrastructure in place.
The right CDN can withstand many of the current attacks including a DDoS, which is one of the most common attacks that flood services until servers crash and the game no longer functions. These attacks are difficult to detect, because there is no warning before the flood occurs. Developers that don’t have the right resources can’t stop the attack alone, but a CDN can help with defense and mitigation.
Any gaming developer that needs to support global clients should investigate CDN providers. Just ensure that the one you choose has the right resources, a global presence, and cyber security defenses.