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White Paper

Akamai Solutions for Interactive Entertainment: Delivering the Ultimate Online Gaming Experience

Table of Contents

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 INTERACTIVE ENTERTAINMENT TODAY. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 CONTENT ADAPTATION ENGINE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 Delivering a Superior User Experience Reducing Barriers to Monetization Scaling Your Infrastructure Optimizing Your Business 2 3 3 3

THE AKAMAI PLATFORM: DELIVERING IMMERSIVE EXPERIENCES . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 The Power of the Edge Boosting Download Completion Rates Accelerating Interactions: Gameplay, eCommerce, and Micro-transactions On Demand Scalability Advanced Capabilities for Interactive Entertainment Analytics & Reporting More Than Digital Delivery: Boosting the Bottom Line 5 5 6 6 6 7 8

CUSTOMER RESULTS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9

Akamai Solutions for Interactive Entertainment: Delivering the Ultimate Online Gaming Experience

Executive Summary
Over the last several years, the Internet has transformed the video gaming industry, presenting tremendous new opportunities, both in the way games are distributed, as well as in how they are played and monetized. Not only does the Internet enable game developers and publishers to costeffectively reach a massive global audience anytime, anywhere, but it has enabled a richer, more immersive gaming experienceone that is more interactive, more immediate, more personalized, and more social. In addition, it has given rise to successful new business models, from monthly subscriptions to in-game advertisements to virtual goods sales. At the same time, the Internet presents a number of unique challenges to those who wish to distribute games digitally or deliver gaming experiences online. As interactive entertainment providers look to capitalize on this brave new world of opportunity, they will need to understand and address those challenges. Their choice of online infrastructure platform will play a critical role in determining their success. This whitepaper looks at current trends in the online video game space and explores the key challenges faced by game providers looking to grow their online businesses. It presents the Akamai Platform and explains how its suite of solutions helps leaders in the interactive entertainment industry succeed in scaling their businesses, reaching global audiences, and more effectively monetizing their assets.

Interactive Entertainment Today: A Changing Landscape, A Vast Opportunity


Across every genre and every segment of the interactive entertainment market, game producers and consumers alike have rapidly migrated online. In contrast to flat projections for the overall video game market, online gaming revenues are expected to increase 33% this year, from $15 billion (in 2009) to $20 billion.1 In fact, Lazard Freres predicts the online market could account for as much as 40% of total interactive entertainment industry revenues by the end of the year. Indeed, the Internet is transforming the industry. Online and digitally distributed games reap a number of benefits beyond what the traditional retail model allows: a more efficient distribution channel, a global audience reach, a more social and immersive gaming experience, and the opportunity for innovative, new business models to thrive. This has manifested itself in a number of key trends:

Digital software distribution is rapidly replacing physical distribution, due to its reach and efficiency. More and more publishers are online-only, leveraging the low-cost, global reach distribution that the Internet provides. Even companies with a strong retail presence now offer downloadable versions of their software, and typically rely exclusively on the online channel for patches, updates, and add-ons. Connected consoles have become a leading online platform, as game developers look to increase engagementand revenuesthrough online community, downloadable add-ons, and multiplayer gameplay. Its working: Xbox Live users, for example, have cumulatively spent more than 17 billion hours online, and currently average more than 7 hours per week gaming online.2 Xbox Live revenues, from subscription fees and digital goods, now top $1 billion annually.3 Similarly, Sony reported a 60% increase in downloads and a 155% increase in revenues on their PlayStation Network between 2008 and 2009.4 And this is just the beginning. DFC Intelligence predicts that overall revenue from console-based online gaming will quadruple between 2009 and 2015.5

Akamai Solutions for Interactive Entertainment: Delivering the Ultimate Online Gaming Experience

New online gaming genres and business models are thriving, offering significant opportunities for market growth. Subscription-based MMOGs first led the way, with the wildly successful World of Warcraft accumulating over 11 million subscribers in little more than 4 years.6 Advertising-supported games are also got a boost, as the Internet offered the ability to place targeted ads in real timea vast improvement over the generic ads that were hard-coded into traditionally distributed retail games. In-game transactions are another Internet-enabled innovationone that has given birth to the thriving freemium business model. The freemium model attracts users with free-to-play games and then monetizes them through in-game purchases of virtual goods that run the gamut from additional game content to enhanced player capabilities to vanity items. The booming new social gaming genre illustrates the success of this model. Reaching hundreds of millions of users through Facebook and other social networks, social games brought in an estimated $725 million in 2009 in the U.S. alonea number that is expected to triple by 2012, according to eMarketer.7 In-game purchases are finding their way to the more hardcore market as well, as companies experiment with hybrid business models. When EA launched a freemium, online version of its FIFA franchise in China, it generated one million registered users and $254,000 through micro-transactions in the first four days alone.8

The Challenges of Online Interactive Entertainment


While the evolution from the physical, retail distribution of stand-alone games to the online, digital distribution of connected games offers an exciting set of new possibilities for interactive entertainment, the online channel presents its fair share of obstacles as well. We highlight the key challenges here.

Delivering a Superior User Experience


Gaming is all about the experience. Nowhere is this more true than online, where gamers have hundreds of alternatives just a single click away. This means game publishers sites need to be engaging from the very first interaction; consumers have no patience for a slow site or sluggish downloads. In fact, a recent Forrester Research survey shows that customers now expect web pages to load within 2 seconds, and that 40% of users would abandon a site taking longer than 3 seconds to load.9 Gaming audiences, who tend to be ahead of the curve technologically, often have expectations that are even higherexpectations that apply across the entire user experience, from the web site to game downloads to video trailers and online gameplay. Unfortunately, the Internet was not designed for high performance. Congestion, packet loss, router failures, network outages, and inefficient protocols can all contribute to failed downloads, jittery videos, slow transactions, and poor site availabilityan all-around poor end user experience. No matter how much time game developers spend on designing and optimizing their application for performance, there are a large number of variables they cannot control, as downloads and application data must traverse the unreliable Internet before reaching gamers. The situation is particularly challenging for companies that serve a global audience, because Internet bottlenecks get worse as users get further away from servers where the content is hosted. Moreover, users arent willing to tradeoff quality for performance. So games and sites are continually becoming richerusing high-definition graphics and high-bitrate streaming media to create immersive experiences for their users. This results in large in file sizes and high throughput requirements that further exacerbate the performance problems, making it even more challenging to meet users expectations.

It is clear that online and digitally distributed games will be the primary growth sector for the interactive entertainment industry over the next several years. The drivers are plentiful. Consumers crave the immediate gratification, as well as online gamings social and interactive capabilities. Developers benefit from the broader reach and the more sticky, viral nature of online gaming. With consumers and their living rooms growing increasingly connectedthrough a growing array of smartphones, game consoles, and other connected appliancesonline gaming is poised to continue its double-digit growth, as it revolutionizes the user gaming experience and attracts an increasingly diverse and global demographic.

Akamai Solutions for Interactive Entertainment: Delivering the Ultimate Online Gaming Experience

Internet bottlenecks can thus create a user experience that causes potential customers to turn to costly support centers or, more commonly, abandon a site altogether. On the flip side, companies who can overcome these obstacles reap clear benefits: the more compelling the user experience, the more users come and the longer they stay. The Freemium Game Sales Funnel
Th eF ree um mi S me Ga ale sF un ne l

Site Visitors Registered Users Download Completions Game Trials Active Players Monetized Players

The user experience is critical to maximizing the effectiveness of the sales funnel. In the first step, a media-rich, high-performance web content attracts visitors and encourages them to register. Next, a fast download experience improves completion rates. Finally, glitch-free gameplay and seamless in-game transactions drive extended engagement and ultimately monetization.

Reducing Barriers to Monetization


The quality, latency, and reliability challenges inherent to Internet communications also create unnecessary obstacles to converting site visitors into revenue. Whether monetization occurs through a software download, in-game transactions, or on-screen advertisements, each critical point where users advance to the next stage in the sales funnel needs to be as quick and seamless as possible. This means game publishers need an infrastructure that not only delivers swift, reliable downloads and high-quality rich media, but can also accelerate all types of online interactionsfrom site registration to micro-transactions to online gameplay. In these situations, a dependable low-latency connection between server and end user is paramount. For games that are monetized through virtual goods sales, for example, each in-game purchase transaction needs to be fast and glitch-free, minimizing any interruption in gameplay.

Scaling Your Infrastructure


Another major challenge for online interactive entertainment publishers is the ability to scale their web presence and digital distribution channel cost-effectively and on demand. While all web sites face this challenge to some degree, the issue is particularly pronounced for gaming companies, who often endure massive traffic spikesreaching anywhere from ten to one hundred times normal traffic volumesduring product releases, promotions, and patches. Provisioning for these peaks is operationally complex and economically wasteful: it requires significant upfront capital investments and results in infrastructure that sits underutilized much of the time. It is very difficult to predict demand with any accuracy. Thus, companies managing their own infrastructure continually run the risk of having insufficient capacityresulting in a very poor user experience that drives away potential customers. Companies need an efficient infrastructure solution that allows them to manage costs while supporting new and evolving business models, and scaling dynamically to meet unknown future demand.

Optimizing Your Business


In this rapidly-evolving space, success depends on a companys capacity to adapt and respond to quickly changing conditions. A flexible infrastructure is critical, but just as important is the ability to understand and measure site and product performanceto know whats working and what isnt. Unfortunately, because accurate metrics and useful analytics are difficult to track and implement, companies are often forced to do without information that is vital to driving their business strategy and success.

Akamai Solutions for Interactive Entertainment: Delivering the Ultimate Online Gaming Experience

Key Challenges in Delivering Interactive Entertainment Online


The diverse business models in the online interactive entertainment industry place a broad and continually-evolving range of demands on their supporting infrastructure. Social Games In this intensely competitive casual market segment, fast initial downloads are critical to decreasing abandonment while high-performance handling of in-game transactions improves monetization. Key challenges include:
Providing a responsive, engaging, rich

MMOG These sophisticated games may combine an initial retail purchase or software download along with a monthly subscription. The audience tends to be hardcore and technically savvy, with very high quality expectations. Key challenges include:
Delivering very large initial download

media web site to draw in a broad audience


Speeding up downloads to lower

Connected Consoles Here, developers face the challenge of ensuring that online gaming performance does not suffer in comparison to offline play. In addition, a positive online user experience drives revenue through subscriptions and purchases of virtual and digital goods. Key challenges include:
Handling flash crowds during new releases,

files quickly and smoothly


Ensuring reliable gameplay with very

barrier-to-entry for potential gamers


Managing infrastructure capacity for

promotions, and software updates


Delivering online gameplay with the

low latency
Handling big traffic surges for game

fast-paced growthpotentially viral


Ensuring gameplay in-game

updates and new releases

high-quality graphics and high frame rates console gamers are used to
Reducing download times for digital

purchases are quick and seamless

content, which may have very large file sizes

The Akamai Platform: Delivering Immersive Experiences


Akamai helps interactive entertainment developers and publishers create the best possible online gaming experience for their usersfrom their very first click through all the stages of the user experience. By leveraging the Akamai Platform, game providers can take advantage of its massive reach and scalability to deliver industryleading performance and reliability to their customers. With a globally distributed network of more that 65,000 servers located in 1,000 networks across 70 countries worldwide, the Akamai Platform serves hundreds of billions of Internet interactions each day. Akamai delivers content and applications for thousands of companies, from the top Internet brands to the Global 500. Its customers include Nintendo, Sony, Zynga, PopCap, and many other market leaders in the interactive entertainment space.

Many game publishers have realized the benefits of outsourcing their digital delivery infrastructure to avoid the complexity and costs of building their own. However, delivering a superior end user experience requires far more than simply pushing bits out to customers. Without the right infrastructure solutionone that can deliver measurably superior levels of performance, reliability and scalability to audiences across the globe, developers considerable efforts towards creating an immersive experience will have little consequence. The Akamai Platform enables gaming companies successfully deliver the experience theyve designed for their end users. From large game downloads to high definition video to low-latency gameplay to rich website interactions, Akamais integrated suite of solutions helps its customers accelerate, understand, and monetize the delivery of a flawless online experience.

Akamai allows us to confidently deliver our games around the world and enables us to increase our redundancy and global reach on a level that we could never achieve on our own.
Hans Reifenrath, IT Director, PopCap Games

Akamai Solutions for Interactive Entertainment: Delivering the Ultimate Online Gaming Experience

The Power of the Edge


At its core, the Akamai Platform works by intelligently routing end users to one of the 65,000 edge servers in its network. These servers are located extremely close to end usersoften within the end users ISP. Delivering content from these servers allows Akamai avoid the congestion and routing problems that plague the Internet, thus providing the best possible performance to the end user. The edge servers keep content in local cache, delivering it to the user without origin server involvement whenever possible. Delivering content from the edge of the Internet, close to end users, is particularly important in situations where either low latency or high throughput communications are required, such as for online gameplay, large file downloads, or high bitrate streaming. Because of limitations imposed by the speed of light and the way the Internets TCP protocol works, the distance between server and end user effectively becomes the gating bottleneck in these situations. As demonstrated in the table below, neither HD-quality streams nor low-latency gaming is possible if the server is not close by.10

How Distance Affects Download Time and Quality


Distance (Server to User) Local: <100 mi. Regional: 5001,000 mi. Cross-continent: ~3,000 mi. Multi-continent: ~6,000 mi. Network RTT 1.6 ms 16 ms 48 ms 96 ms Typical Packet Loss 0.6% 0.7% 1.0% 1.4% Maximum Throughput 44 Mbps (high quality HDTV) 4 Mbps (basic HDTV) 1 Mbps (SD TV) 0.4 Mbps (poor) 4GB DVD Download Time 12 min. 2.2 hrs. 8.2 hrs. 20 hrs

Boosting Download Completion Rates


For many online interactive entertainment sites, the game software download is the critical first step in converting site visitors to paid customers. Whether the game is a try-before-you-buy PC game, a subscription-based MMOG, or a freemium-based casual game, each download attempt represents a qualified leadone that can only be converted if the download is successful. By delivering game downloads from the edge of the Internet, Akamai provides the smoothest, fastest experience possible, lowering barriers to monetization while also reducing support costs and wasted bandwidth associated with incomplete downloads. An optional, customer-branded download manager further boosts completion rates by enabling best practices such as optimal use of download resources, content integrity-checking on the fly, and end user control and monitoring capabilities. Episodic video game producer Kuma Games saw download completion rates jump from less than 50% to over 95% using Akamai ESD.

Akamai Solutions for Interactive Entertainment: Delivering the Ultimate Online Gaming Experience

Accelerating Interactions: Gameplay, eCommerce, and Micro-transactions


While the ability to flawlessly deliver game downloads, video trailers, and other rich media is vital to the user experience, many of the most critical online interactionssuch as site registration, micro-transactions, usergenerated content (uploads), and online gameplayare transaction-based and involve communications with the origin server. The Akamai Platform offers the unique ability to accelerate these and other transactions that require reliable, low-latency communications over the wide-area Internet. To do this, it leverages a number of innovative capabilities, including:

Acceleration of non-browser-based transactions. Many client-based games operate through nonbrowser-based IP connections. Akamai accelerates these communications with the same route and protocol optimizations described above.

On Demand Scalability
To supports their large file downloads and event-driven traffic spikes, online game providers need an infrastructure that lets them scale instantaneously when needed. The Akamai Platform has reached peak traffic levels of nearly 3.5 Tbps of traffic on its networkenough capacity to deliver the equivalent of the entire printed contents of the U.S. Library of Congress in less than a minute. Akamais customers have the ability to leverage this massive capacity on demand, helping them costeffectively deliver to their site and their downloads quickly and reliably, even when traffic unexpectedly surges to 100X its typical volume. This means customers can spend less time worrying about capacity planning, and more time creating and capitalizing on a successful product release or promotional event.

Route optimization: Akamai uses real-time knowledge of Internet conditions to find alternative, faster paths for long-haul communications. Akamai can also route around serious Internet problems like cable cuts and network outages to continue delivering content in situations with extremely poor connectivity. Protocol optimization: Using a highly efficient proprietary protocol, Akamai can greatly reduces communications overhead associated with standard TCP and HTTP protocols to maximize throughput. Prefetching: Akamai edge servers can parse the HTML while delivering it and proactively request objects embedded within that HTML page from the origin server. This provides an end user experience akin to having the content hosted on a local server, even for dynamic, uncacheable content. Packet loss reduction: Using forward error correction techniques and optional packet replication over multiple paths, Akamai achieves significant packet loss reduction, even over congested routes, for latencysensitive transactions like gaming or high bitrate video.

Advanced Capabilities for Interactive Entertainment


With over a decade of experience accelerating content and applications for the worlds leading Internet brands, the Akamai Platform has continually led the marketplace in meeting the needs of sophisticated sites and their savvy audiences. Customers leverage the platform as an extension of their own infrastructure, retaining finegrained control and visibility over their content and its delivery. They can apply different features and optimizations to different types of content, taking advantage of capabilities that are unique to the Akamai Platform. A few highlights include:

Akamai provides instant scalability along with fast, reliable downloads and robust performance that is critical to helping us achieve our targeted growth. Instead of monitoring each new release and scrambling to address performance issues [our technical team] is free to work on site and game enhancements that will help us reach our objectives.
Thomas Bahon, Director of Products, Ankama

Akamai Solutions for Interactive Entertainment: Delivering the Ultimate Online Gaming Experience

Automated content targeting. Companies can customize the end user experience, targeting content based on the users geographic location, connection speed, browser type, cookie or other variables. This allows for delivery of localized games or targeted advertising, for example. Secure delivery and access control. Content can be protected through SSL and centralized or distributed authentication mechanisms. Customers can also block downloads based on IP or geography, as desired. Download manager. Akamais Download Manager integrates performance optimization with download best practices to deliver the best possible end user experience. The fully customizable client also gives companies the unique opportunity to further engage and immerse their user in a positive branding experience while the download takes place. Edge computing. Akamais edge servers provide a number of distributed computing capabilities, including the ability to dynamically assemble HTML pages or run Java applications on the edge. This provides the ultimate level of performance and availability for certain types of games and applications. High-availability storage and site failover. Akamai provides a number of options for delivering a seamless experience in the event of customer origin server failure, including a globally distributed storage service that ensures the availability of content such as game downloads and patches. Adaptive bitrate streaming. By automatically detecting and optimizing for each end users available bandwidth, Akamai can deliver the best possible video experience for each end user. Bandwidth degradation is detected in real-time, and the viewer is switched to a lower bitrate stream until conditions improve so that the user enjoys instant start up and uninterrupted viewing at the highest possible stream quality.

Analytics & Reporting


Equally essential to delivering a superior online experience is the ability to track, measure, and analyze that experience. Many solutions lack this critical capability because of the complexity involved in implementing it. But without it, companies are unable to maximize the effectiveness of their online presence and distribution channel. Akamais comprehensive reporting and analytics suite gives customers the ability to make better business decisions based on accurate intelligence about their site performance, audience demographics, and user engagement. It provides the ability to perform download funnel analysis and report on key performance metrics grouped by product line, distribution channel, referring vendor, and the like. Reports include:

Real-time traffic reporting, including bandwidth usage, offload rates, and unique visitors Download KPIs, such as durations, abandonments, completion rates Download user behavior (such as starts, pauses, cancels) Streaming media play time, buffer time, and packet loss per stream URL End user analysis by geography, network, and connection speed

In addition, Akamais powerful custom reporting function allows companies to customize their interface and define the data set, reporting dimensions, and metrics they want to see. Game providers can use this data to drive higher download completion rates, design more effective promotions, and improve the overall effectiveness of their sales funnel.

Akamai Solutions for Interactive Entertainment: Delivering the Ultimate Online Gaming Experience

More Than Digital Delivery: Boosting the Bottom Line


Akamais solutions are about far more than just pushing bits to end users. They are designed to help interactive entertainment companies best leverage the massive opportunities presented by online and digitally distributed gamesby simplifying complexity and enabling them to successfully deliver the immersive experiences theyve envisioned for their audiences. With Akamai, online interactive entertainment companies can:

Attract and retain larger audiences Reduce download abandonment rates Convert more site visitors into paying players Increase ARPU through greater engagement and online play time Reduce upfront and long-term expenses from infrastructure build out Reach worldwide audiences without the need for costly global deployments Support unpredictable traffic without fail Understand and maximize revenue from their assets

Akamai Solutions for Interactive Entertainment


Akamai offers a set of integrated solutions to meet the needs of the online video game market. These include: Akamai Electronic Software Delivery for Interactive Entertainment (ESD) Through edge delivery and an optional, customer-branded download manager, ESD accelerates the digital delivery of gaming softwareoffering the best possible performance and end user experience for files of any size. In addition, ESDs sophisticated reporting and analytics suite delivers actionable insight into content usage and audience engagement. Akamai Rich Media Accelerator (RMA) RMA optimizes the delivery of rich, interactive Media and Entertainment web sites, using the Akamai Platforms caching, routing, protocol, and application-layer optimizations to provide on-demand scalability and advanced acceleration capabilities for both cacheable and non-cacheable content. Akamai Media Delivery (AMD) Leveraging the unmatched scalability of the Akamai HD Network, AMD provides high-performance delivery of live and on-demand streaming media. AMD provides a superior user experience with faster video startup times, higher quality streams, and greater user control through technologies like adaptive bitrate streaming and DVR-like video player controls. This results in longer viewing times, greater audience engagement, enhancing the overall online experience of game site visitors. Akamai IP Accelerator (IPA) IPA provides high-performance delivery of non-browser-based, IP-enabled content and applications, such as online gameplay enabled through proprietary gaming clients. With its unique mapping, routing, and protocol optimizations, Akamai boosts the speed and reliability of these dynamic, online interactions to keep gamers happily engaged.

Show Me the Money: Why Performance Matters


In interactive entertainment, the user experience is what counts when it comes to monetizing assets. Performance is a critical piece to the equation; example, with Akamai ESD, companies see faster downloads leading to higher completion ratesand ultimately, more revenueby anywhere from 15 to 50%. Scenario 1: $50 PC game with trial download Completion rate Attempted downloads Completed downloads Try-to-buy conversion rate Purchases Revenue Result: 40% increase in revenue Web site and online gameplay performance are equally important in driving users through to subsequent stages of the sales funnel. Small boosts in conversion rates throughout the process multiply to create a huge boost in revenue. 50% 200,000 100,000 5% 5,000 $250,000 70% 200,000 140,000 5% 7,000 $350,000 Scenario 2: Free-to-play MMOG with $1.50/mo ARPU from virtual goods Site conversion rate Download completion rate Conversion to active gamer Virtual goods monetization rate Monthly site visitors Attempted downloads Completed downloads Monthly active users (MAU) Monthly monetized users 50% 70% 18% 3% 1,000,000 500,000 350,000 63,000 1,890 55% 85% 19% 3.5% 1,000,000 550,000 467,500 88,350 3,109 $55,959 $671,517

Monthly revenue $34,020 (from one years worth of site visitors) Total annual revenue Result: 64% increase in revenue $408,240

Akamai Solutions for Interactive Entertainment: Delivering the Ultimate Online Gaming Experience

Most importantly, Akamai enables their customers to focus on their core mission of designing unforgettable experiences instead of worrying about infrastructure or capacity planning for their next release. They enable customers to deliver those experiences successfully, converting greater numbers of users at each stage of the sales funnel, ultimately resulting in greater monetization and revenue while keeping costs in check.

Customer Results
Because of its effective and innovative solutions, leading online interactive entertainment publishers have chosen Akamai to help grow their businesses, scale their infrastructure, and improve their customer experiences. Here is a sampling of their stories. Ankama 2X to 3X download performance improvement; massive traffic spikes Headquartered in France, Ankama supports over 30 million registered users worldwide in its flagship game, DOFUS. It needed an infrastructure solution that could handle its rapid growth, including the huge traffic spikes that occur with each release of a game update. In addition, Ankama wanted to optimize the performance of its website as well as its online gaming experience for a global audience. One option it considered was the deployment of 50 to 60 servers around the worlda plan that was both complex and cost-prohibitive. Instead, Ankama chose to use Akamai, who could meet its needs without any infrastructure build out. Akamai ESD now provides scale and performance for Ankamas downloads, RMA speeds up its website, and IPA accelerates online gameplay. Akamais global network was able to handle massive traffic spikes some exceeding 24 Gbps without fail. This combined with its unique performance optimization suite for rich, dynamic content and strong commitment to service quality were the key reasons that we chose Akamai. Thomas Bahon, Director of Products, Ankama PopCap Games 250% speed increase; 15% improvement in download completion rates With more than 1.5 billion game downloads under its belt, PopCap Games is a leader in the online casual gaming industry. Since the introduction of its Bejeweled Blitz on Facebook last year, PopCap has seen monthly traffic grow from 250 TB to 1.1 PB. PopCap first came to Akamai in 2007 as it sought a solution to support its aggressive global expansion plans while improving download completion ratesa metric that was critical to helping them ensure customer satisfaction and strike new distribution agreements. Akamai delivered a 250% improvement in download performance in their new European market and an average 15% increase in download completion rates across the globe. Since then, PopCap has relied on Akamai for performance and scalability as they have grown, as it frees them from infrastructure worries and enables them to devote their attention to their core focus of making world class games with the broadest possible appeal. Leading MMOG provider Aeria Games achieved a 40-100% improvement in download completion rates for its library games, ultimately enabling them to convert far greater numbers of site visitors into revenue.

Why Akamai
Successful interactive entertainment companies choose Akamai for its proven experience and expertise in providing solutions that are tailored to the unique needs of this rapidly evolving marketplace. These companies know that Akamai offers them the freedom to innovate and thrive without bound. It helps them scale for rapidand sometimes unexpectedgrowth. It allows them to reach a global audience with the same quality of service as a local one. It helps them cut costs and eliminate expensive infrastructure outlays. It gives them insight into their audiences. And it allows them to simply focus on strategy, growth, and their core missionof designing and delivering the best gaming experiences possible to audiences worldwide.

Endnotes
1

C. Sebastian of Lazard Freres, as quoted in http://www.gamesbrief.com/2010/06/the-online-games-market-was-worth-15-billion-in-2009-and-will-grow-to-20-billion-in-2010/, http://www.industrygamers.com/news/social-mobile-and-online-gaming-could-generate-40-of-total-industry-revenues-in-2010---lazard/ http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/04/29/online-gaming-statistics_n_556879.html Forbes.com. http://blogs.forbes.com/velocity/2010/07/07/microsofts-xbox-live-online-sales-over-1-billion-and-counting/ http://seekingalpha.com/article/210090-tough-times-for-video-game-industry DFC. http://www.dfcint.com/wp/?p=277 www.mmogchart.com, http://www.wow.com/2008/10/28/world-of-warcraft-hits-11-million-subscribers-worldwide/ http://www.emarketer.com/Report.aspx?code=emarketer_2000683 http://www.insidesocialgames.com/2009/07/07/ea-stepping-up-in-house-social-gaming-efforts/ Forrester Research. eCommerce Web Site Performance Today. Aug 2009. http://www.akamai.com/dl/whitepapers/ecommerce_website_perf_wp.pdf?curl=/dl/whitepapers/ ecommerce_website_perf_wp.pdf&solcheck=1& Consider that todays console games require roughly 60 ms response times, with approximately 50 ms of that being taken up by the video encoding process. This leaves only 10 ms for network latency, meaning that servers need to be located no more than 1000 miles from the end user. http://www.slideshare.net/Eth0s/video-game-industry-trends

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The Akamai Difference


Akamai provides market-leading, cloud-based services for optimizing Web and mobile content and applications, online HD video, and secure e-commerce. Combining highlydistributed, energy-efficient computing with intelligent software, Akamais global platform is transforming the cloud into a more viable place to inform, entertain, advertise, transact and collaborate. To learn how the worlds leading enterprises are optimizing their business in the cloud, please visit www.akamai.com and follow @Akamai on Twitter.

Akamai Technologies, Inc.


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2010 Akamai Technologies, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without express written permission is prohibited. Akamai and the Akamai wave logo are registered trademarks. Other trademarks contained herein are the property of their respective owners. Akamai believes that the information in this publication is accurate as of its publication date; such information is subject to change without notice.