The Whale Games

The Whale Games increased reliability, scalability, and service performance with Akamai Solutions

“When stability issues stemming from explosive traffic growth had to be resolved urgently, Akamai’s Media Delivery Solution was the right choice for us to deliver high-quality content more reliably. In addition, Akamai’s Web Performance Solution, which includes features such as optimizing images in real time depending on changing viewing environments or system requirements, was a huge benefit. With Akamai’s solutions, we have experienced dramatically increased reliability and scalability, since the infrastructure investment time was reduced to a few hours, and service performance improvements of 10 percent were realised. These solutions will be an important asset for Battle Comics to grow globally.”

Heo Ji-woong , CTO , The Whale Games

The Situation

Founded in 2013, The Whale Games’ flagship “Battle Comics” is the world’s first game-themed webtoon (web comics) service. Battle Comics also creates new content by combining webtoons with games. Battle Comics’ webtoons have approximately 500 million views to date, and the average number of daily views soared to 1.5 million at the end of 2015. So it was important to have a reliable service that would satisfy the growing user base.

Battle Comics has a clear customer target, with most gamers in their mid-teens to 30s. Most of them are keen on enjoying games as well as game webtoons, and are loyal users. About 200 webtoonists have published creations using characters, views of the world and background situations of specific games, leading to 301 accumulated creations and more than 6,000 accumulated episodes, as of November 2015. The number of webtoon downloads has surpassed 700,000 in the Android Marketplace, and these webtoons score 4.7 points (out of 5) on average on Google Store, which means that Battle Comics has become an essential service for gamers. Battle Comics aims to launch in China in 2016 – and Southeast Asian markets in the future.

The Whale Games was using a local content delivery network (CDN), but it needed a more reliable provider because an increasing number of users led to a sharp increase in traffic. The company also needed the physical infrastructure to process different versions of the same image, such as thumbnail and larger sizes, for different user devices. Also, the service provider had to keep altering images depending on diferent system requirements based on varied user interfaces, leading to higher costs and reduced efficiency. As The Whale Games planned on advancing into overseas markets, they also needed to deliver a great, consistent user experience to customers around the world.

The Goals

  • Provide stable service regardless of traffic volumes
  • Reduce infrastructure investment costs and complexity related to image adjustment across devices and operating systems
  • Establish a foundation for entering the Chinese and Southeast Asian markets and grow into a global content provider

The Results

  • Increased content download speed by 10 percent
  • Improved development agility and efficiency
  • Reduced working time from two weeks to a few hours through real-time image conversion technology
  • Enhanced scalability by providing high-quality web and mobile experiences for different users’ viewing environments
  • Delivered stable, seamless webtoon services without downtime even during peak hours
  • Built a foundation for entering global markets with the Akamai Intelligent Platform

Why Akamai

The Whale Games conducted benchmark tests comparing a number of solutions available in the market, for a month before the deployment of Akamai’s Media Delivery Solutions. The company praised Akamai’s solutions for the ability to provide quick services to both local and overseas users. In addition, it concluded that Akamai’s image conversion technology, which supports image optimization in real time in the cloud, was the best for increasing scalability.

Reduces infrastructure costs spent on image manipulation and increases operational agility

A webtoon service, by nature, requires image processing optimized for different devices. This requires several versions of the same image for different endpoints, ranging from thumbnails for mobile phones to high-resolution images that are enlarged when clicked on a website. Battle Comics can now dynamically manipulate images in the cloud by harnessing the power of the Akamai Intelligent Platform through Akamai’s Web Performance Solution, leading to increased operational agility.

Akamai’s Web Performance Solution helped the company optimize the content for a variety of viewing environments in line with ever-changing system requirements. The Whale Games achieved significant infrastructure cost savings from application version updates that it recently conducted. Previously, employees had to spend about two weeks to apply the complex UX/UI changes for updated versions, but they are now able to complete the job in just a few hours with the Akamai solution.

Provides a consistently reliable service, with increased users

With the number of Battle Comics users increasing, the quick, reliable delivery of webtoon content is critical. The number of concurrent users reaches 20,000 during peak hours – at midnight when webtoons are uploaded, or at times when middle and high school students are on their way to school or back home, leading to downtime. However, with Akamai’s Media Delivery Solution, Battle Comics has been able to speed up content delivery by more than 10 percent, while operating reliably even under high-traffic conditions and accelerate delivery performance through Akamai’s Netstorage automatic replication. Akamai’s Services and Support Solutions have also helped to operate the service seamlessly.

“Unlike other companies, Akamai’s services team gave us direct support in the early stage of deployment, helping us build our services more quickly and reliably. Now, we receive active help in performing maintenance and optimizing services based on Battle Comics’ requirements.” said Heo Ji-woong, Chief Technology Officer, The Whale Games.

Accelerates efforts to enter global markets beyond China and Southeast Asia

Battle Comics, which has established the foundation for stable services through Akamai’s solutions, is preparing to enter Southeast Asian markets, beginning with China. Akamai’s solutions are designed to enable users to enjoy content without disruption, wherever they are located in the world, because services are delivered from the server closest to the user.

About The Whale Games

The Whale Games, with a passion for games, comics and global markets, creates game-related services. It operates “Battle Comics,” the world’s first game-themed webtoon service. Currently, about 200 well-known webtoonists from at home and abroad have published creations related to games on the Battle Comics platform. This flagship service is considered a must among gamers, as more than 60,000 users award 4.7 points (out of 5) on average on Google Store. It aims to launch in China in the first half of 2016, while targeting Southeast Asian markets in the future. More information is available on www.battlecomics.co.kr

Über Akamai

Akamai stellt sichere digitale Erlebnisse für die größten Unternehmen der Welt bereit. Die Intelligent Edge Platform umgibt alles – vom Unternehmen bis zur Cloud –, damit unsere Kunden und ihre Unternehmen schnell, intelligent und sicher agieren können. Führende Marken weltweit setzen auf die agilen Lösungen von Akamai, um die Performance ihrer Multi-Cloud-Architekturen zu optimieren. Akamai bringt Entscheidungen, Anwendungen und Erlebnisse näher an Ihre Nutzer als andere Anbieter – und hält Angriffe und Bedrohungen fern. Das Akamai-Portfolio für Website- und Anwendungsperformance, Cloudsicherheit, Unternehmenszugriff und Videobereitstellung wird durch einen herausragenden Kundenservice, Analysen und Rund-um-die-Uhr-Überwachung begleitet. Warum weltweit führende Unternehmen auf Akamai vertrauen, erfahren Sie unter www.akamai.de, im Blog blogs.akamai.com/de oder auf Twitter unter @AkamaiDACH sowie @Akamai. Unsere globalen Standorte finden Sie unter www.akamai.de/locations.