Cutting Game Client Download Costs by 65%

Key Takeaways

By using StackPath as a master CDN and AWS as a failover CDN, MindArk reduced monthly costs for its game client download by 65% while maintaining peak performance.

  • Moving away from AWS’s pricing model to StackPath’s global flat rate pricing model helped increase MindArk’s profitability.
  • After StackPath acquired MaxCDN (MindArk’s initial CDN), delivery times improved by 75%.

Situation

Amazon Web Services’ download fees were hurting profitability

The technical geniuses at MindArk launched one of the world’s largest real cash economy universes in January 2003. The game was built on a free-to-play model so anyone could download it and try it out. Once a player committed to the game, they generally became a paying player.

The problem was that 80% of the people who downloaded the game weren’t converting and MindArk was paying massive fees to Amazon Web Services to facilitate downloads. They paid for every download, regardless of whether the player converted or not. With more and more downloads being requested each month, AWS fees were minimizing their profitability.

Objective

Save money on downloads without degrading performance

The Chief Technology Officer at MindArk, Mats Kling, was aware that they had to reduce their content delivery bill without degrading performance. Using a low cost, high latency CDN was not an option as slow downloads could cost MindArk hundreds of customers and millions of dollars. The only thing worse than slow downloads is no downloads which is why CDN redundancy was also part of their cost-savings initiative.

It’s not hard to find a cheap CDN but it also has to work. The best CDN has a combination of good pricing and performance. StackPath has each.

Mats Kling • CTO, MindArk

Approach

Load balance downloads between StackPath and AWS

Originally, MindArk partnered with MaxCDN to fulfill their need for fast and affordable content delivery. In 2016, StackPath acquired MaxCDN and MindArk decided to remain a customer because of StackPath’s pricing model and ability to reduce delivery times by 75%.

To make sure their content delivery was redundant, MindArk decided to stay on with AWS as well. They configured StackPath to function as the master CDN and AWS to function as the failover CDN.

Results

StackPath’s CDN reduced AWS costs by 65%

Using both StackPath and AWS, the CTO estimated that their monthly AWS costs have been lowered to $25. That means they are only paying Amazon to deliver a handful of the monthly client download requests they receive, ultimately reducing their AWS bill by 65%.

Company Description

MindArk is a Swedish virtual reality company that operates the Entropia Universe, a free-to-play, microtransaction-based virtual universe that allows in-game currency to be converted into U.S. dollars.

Industry

Gaming

Use Case

Game client download delivery

Products

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