The gaming market is bigger than ever and growing. According to BusinessOfApps, over 55 billion games were downloaded in 2021 between Google Play and the Apple App Store alone, and in a recent blog on mobile gaming industry statistics, mobile game marketing agency Udonis stated that consumer spend on mobile games reached $116 billion in 2021 – 16 billion more than the prior year.
But even with this current gaming boom, gamers are extremely selective with the games they choose and retention is not guaranteed. In fact, according to a research study by mobile marketing analytics vendor AppsFlyer, nearly one in every two apps are uninstalled within 30 days.
Bad gaming experience, particularly slowness and lag, are big factors in abandonment – 70% of mobile app users will abandon an app that takes too long to load according to a report by Think Storage Now. This means that a fast, reliable experience is not only desirable, it’s critical to keeping gamers engaged. Game publishers must compete based on user experience, underscoring the importance of speed and resilience for retention and monetization.
Games succeed by keeping players engaged so they play longer and spend more. This puts pressure on architects, developers, and operations engineers to deliver great player experiences with higher engagement to compete, requiring real-time speed, 100% uptime, and scale to provide millions of users with responsive and personalized gameplay across all of their devices. As a result, game publishers, from PC to consoles to mobile, are turning to Couchbase.
The Couchbase advantage for gaming
Couchbase provides capabilities that are key to a great gaming experience – here are just a few of the ways that it powers some of the industry’s most popular game titles.
Nearly any new game has the potential for massive growth in popularity, meaning the ability to start small and grow instantly is critical. Equally, the ability to scale down as the lifecycle of a game tails off allows reclamation of resources for newer projects. Powering games with thousands, or millions, of players can overwhelm relational databases with increasing, volatile workloads. Unlike relational databases, Couchbase supports these ever-increasing workloads and spikes in throughput demands and scales (in, out, up, or down) easily and without disruption.
Arguably, the most important aspect of any game is its speed, so guaranteeing consistent, low-latency data access is critical. Couchbase has a fully integrated caching layer and a highly efficient and responsive storage engine for lightning fast responsiveness. Couchbase’s in-memory, distributed architecture, along with secure mobile data sync support, consistently delivers the sub-millisecond responsiveness that today’s gamers expect. This recent Altoros performance evaluation of Couchbase Capella proves its superior performance vs MongoDB Atlas.
Gameplay experience begins with availability. Because gamers could be logging in from anywhere around the world, a game not only has to be available at all times, it must be accessible from anywhere with no single point of failure. Couchbase provides high availability with built-in cross datacenter replication (XDCR) for disaster recovery and data locality for higher guarantees of uptime. With Couchbase, you have full control over the replication topology – unidirectional, bidirectional, or any configuration you need.
Couchbase Mobile extends Couchbase to the edge with an embedded NoSQL database (Couchbase Lite) and a web gateway (App Services), enabling apps with real time responsiveness and 100% availability regardless of network connectivity thanks to local on-device data storage and processing.
Couchbase’s full support for SQL allows developers to easily query JSON data using familiar syntax. Tightly integrated full-text search, real-time analytics, and powerful eventing services make it easy to add new features to games without integrating disparate database technologies, eliminating database sprawl. And the schemaless JSON document data format means that developers can add new data fields on demand without a time consuming schema update, saving development time and making app version updates painless.
Couchbase gaming customers
Many of the top game publishers and developers worldwide rely on Couchbase to power their top titles.
Game developer, publisher and technology provider East Side Games leverages Capella, Couchbase’s fully hosted database-as-a-service offering, to allow its development team to focus on building engaging, responsive, and scalable gaming experiences instead of ongoing database management.
Capella also powers game user profile and betting data for SaaS technology gaming company, Playgon, who has also seen greater developer agility through the use of the fully hosted solution.
Nexon, a leading publisher of virtual world games and massively multiplayer online role-playing games, delivers consistent performance and speed for increasing numbers of gamers playing Blue Archive, their most popular game. With Capella, Nexon was able to achieve a faster time to market and can roll out the game in new regions in minutes not days.