Why Online Game Companies Use Content Delivery Networks (CDN)
Blog / News / Why Online Game Companies Use Content Delivery Networks (CDN)
Online games companies deploy different CDN games solutions to accelerate page loading, improve user experience and boost safety. It helps to overcome numerous challenges and problems.

As a rule, CDNs used by online game companies serve to delivery patches and core game downloads. Gradually, the size of game downloads increases, as such technologies as 4K and Ultra HD are being introduced. These technologies improve gaming experience, but slow downloading may harm it considerably. Although most gamers won’t abandon a download that they have paid for, waiting hours for it to download will definitely irritate them. CDN solves this problem. It leverages content caching in a global network of servers so that patches and core downloads could be transferred quicker. Besides, this technology prevents server crash.

Traffic spikes and slow connection pose other challenges for online game companies. While connection speed mostly depends on the provider, not the company, CDN makes it possible to deliver large-size files as quickly as possible.

How Distributors of Boxed Games Are Affected?

The vast majority of boxed games require post-installation downloads, and patches can weight from 5 Gb to even 30 Gb. For most games, the sheer size of files upsets players, because it takes too long to download patches. Users of gaming forums like Steam may become so desperate that they start uploading semi-incoherent rants.

CDNs as alternative to infrastructure expansion

Deployment and management of multiple separate servers requires much time and money. With upfront expenses, ongoing expenses and cost of personnel, the cost of global infrastructure raises dramatically. Besides, it requires an in-depth analysis of your audience and game popularity. How can you know in which countries your game is demanded, if you don’t have a server there? The existing network of global servers may not give answers to these questions, while CDN can be a non-expensive platform to deliver content.

How CDN works?

CDN boosts the capacity of the origin game server with numerous PoPs (points of presence) around the globe. This way, game content is placed closer to server, which allows improving download speed. The algorithm of work is the following:
  • Gamer 1 in London requests game content;
  • CDN server in London pulls the content from the original game server in Dallas;
  • CDN server in London caches the requested content and delivers it to Gamer 1;
  • Gamers 2-100 and further on in London request the same game content and have it delivered directly from the server in London.
That happens in all locations covered by CDN across the world. Multiple download locations preserve server overload that often takes place because of surge of requests (that typically happens when companies release new games and patches). As far as CDN servers don’t rely on the origin server after the files are cached, CDN continues delivering files even if the main server fails.

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