The unprecedented success of Pokémon Go is food for thought for everyone who is associated with cloud in some or other way. The augmented reality game has been a runaway success wherever it has been launched. It enjoys a top position for average daily engagement by replacing even Facebook. Just within a matter of week Pokémon Go overtook Tinder in total number of installs and Twitter in number of users per day. 

Contribution of cloud in success of Pokémon Go 

Powered by technology by Niantic Labs, Pokémon Go is supported by rented cloud services in contrast to Facebook which has its own infrastructure of cloud. It is observed that Niantic Labs depends upon Google’s App Engine and NoSQL database. 

In spite of some stray complaints including sporadic incidences of server crashes and hassles about usage of tracking attributes of the game, Niantic has made a remarkable effort to live up to the exponential and globally viral demand for the game. CEO at Niantic remarked that more than smart phone technology, Pokémon Go has been possible only because of location services and cloud computing. 

Niantic banks on more than a dozen Google cloud services to support huge demand for game. It is interesting to know that the augmented reality game generated an exponential demand that crossed the worst case scenario by a whopping five times. 

Niantic and Google embarked upon a massive operation that involved upgrading Pokémon Go to Google Container Engine simultaneously while millions of new gamers were getting added to the game. This operation consisted of enriching container cluster of Pokémon Go with thousands of nodes that would help accommodate upcoming demand due to launch in Japan. 

In a parallel operation more sophisticated HTTPS and HTTP load balancers were used for replacing network load balancer. This paved way for greater traffic output and faster enablement of connections to users. It is hardly any surprise that the Japan launch went ahead with thumping success in spite of the fact that the response was three times higher than US in terms of new signups. 

Understanding the reason for server crashes

Server crashes caused lot of pain to developers of Pokémon Go. This was obviously due to excessive global load on available infrastructural resources. As the number of requests to server spikes and the available infrastructure falling short of the expectations, there are service disruptions as well as an awful user experience.  

Crashes are commonplace in day to day business life as well. Even if there are multiple reasons for unresponsive servers, system overload remains to the commonest issue. Such disruptions can lead to downtime and result in loss of revenues in addition to tarnished image of the organization. 

Understanding role of cloud in mitigation of crashes

Speed and availability are the key performance indicators of business sites. Dynamically scalable and exceptionally customizable cloud solutions can provide the right solution to issues related with server crashes due to excessive overload. 

Cloud solutions are designed to scale in or scale out in response to the demand fluctuations. This attribute of cloud helps businesses eliminate risk of revenue loss due to downtime. While the demand is on a lower side, cloud solutions are able to scale down the resources, thus facilitating greater cost efficiency.  

Exclusive cloud solutions for developing games

It is interesting to note the similarity of benefits that has facilitated Pokémon Go as well as Enterprise Apps. These include:

• Faster development through enterprise platform
• Easy availability of cloud based data e.g. the mapping datasets
• Enablement of privacy requirements and local performance with help of global infrastructure
• Rapid scalability in response to massive demand fluctuations

The concept of using cloud services for improving gaming experience is being developed further by building customized cloud platforms for game developers. A similar service has been recently launched by NHN entertainment to exploit the growing South Korean market of mobile gaming. 

The cloud services by NHN facilitate small sized enterprises to focus their inadequate resources to develop innovative games instead of spending efforts and time for infrastructure management. There are all chances of a new Pokémon like sensation being developed by one of the developers. 

Thanks to OpenStack open source cloud computing application, NHN has been able to build the tailored cloud services. 

Conclusion

Pokémon Go has set a benchmark of success for enterprises or companies that are involved in developing games.  The lesson to be learnt from Pokémon Go success story is more about utilizing cloud for development of apps and leveraging its ability to support global distribution of developed apps. 

Cloud solutions offer synergistic advantages to business of game development as well as enhanced user experience. Thanks to the number of established vendors offering a fascinating variety of cloud solutions, it would be naïve to miss the benefits of cloud for achieving success that can only be compared with Pokémon Go. 

 

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