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Akamai helps Garena speed up game downloads globally
As a leading online game service provider, Garena has introduced the latest premium online games such as League of Legends, BlackShot and Heroes of Newerth to its community of more than 30 million registered users from 153 different countries. Through its flagship online game platform, Garena+, the company has become one of the most popular gaming communities and is also the largest social platform in South East Asia and Taiwan.
As an online gaming company, Garena is actively seeking ways to expand the reach of Garena+, their online game platform, into new markets as well as to continue growing its large base of end users through the consistent and smooth delivery of gaming content with stable connections and speedy software delivery times. End-users rely on Garena to load games and download files as quickly and efficiently as possible regardless of where they are located. Being a company with roots in electronic sports, Garena is also looking to be a platform to deliver HD-quality live streams of games to its community. However, as the company began to publish more games and updates as well as grow its community of gamers, file download times were longer due to limited bandwidth. “End-users would frequently complain on the forums about slow download speeds or unstable connections. This negatively resulted in end-users spending more time on downloading games rather than playing them,” explains Ye Gang, Chief Technology Officer, Garena.
Garena wanted to meet three key requirements to support its objectives:
Deliver game content on a stable and reliable software delivery platform: Garena needed to offer a stable and reliable web experience to end-users as it would sustain long-term use of their platform.
Being cost-effective about supporting expansion into new markets: With the rapid growth in online gaming, Garena wanted to overcome its media delivery challenges without investing heavily in acquiring new hardware in individual markets.
Encourage their community to view live games through Garena: Garena wanted to enhance their capability of streaming HD quality live games and tournaments through their platform.
Going with the Cost Effective Solution to Expand Globally
As its business continued to grow in and beyond Asia Pacific, Garena was unable to sustain the cost of buying additional servers in order to expand its reach into new markets as well as to handle the increase in traffic. Garena chose Akamai because of its global software delivery platform, quality of service and cost-effectiveness in implementing viable solutions for scaling businesses. Having Akamai take care of the delivery of its gaming content proved more cost- effective than setting up and accommodating additional servers. “Working with Akamai was the logical solution, we simply didn’t have the resources to invest into a significant amount of hardware and Akamai had the most cost-effective solution for us to scale our business,” says Ye Gang.
Providing a Stable and Reliable Experience for Users
Garena’s success lies in the ability to provide a stable network for gamers to gather online to play games together, as well as deliver reliable and speedy downloads of games and game updates sup- ported by the Garena platform. This allows the company to continue growing its community of gamers and publish more games. Speed is critical when it comes to delivering content which can range from anywhere between a couple of megabytes to a few gigabytes in file size.
Ever since Garena started using Akamai’s Electronic Software Delivery solution, they have shortened download times by up to 75%. “Previously, users took an average of 3 to 4 hours to download a game through our platform. Now it only takes about 30 minutes to an hour. This has allowed us to deliver a lot more high-quality gaming content to end-users consistently through regular updates which we might have struggled with previously because of file size. It would never have been possible without Akamai,” says Ye Gang.
Delivering a Superior HD Quality Streaming Platform for Users
Garena required a high amount of bandwidth to be able to stream live games from its Garena+ platform. For example, bandwidth usage in the month of July 2012 increased 30% due to increased media streaming of live games. Utilizing Akamai’s Sola Media Streaming solution for HD streaming media has allowed Garena to successfully continue its tradition of being a supporter of eSports by delivering stable, HD quality live streams of eSports tournaments through its platform. “We chose Akamai because of its track record in helping companies like us to deliver content in the fastest, most efficient way. No other vendor came close to what Akamai offered. Now, our users can enjoy our games without interruption,” says Ye Gang.
Garena is a leading online game service provider. Its flagship online game platform, Garena+, is the largest social platform in South East Asia and Taiwan, designed for online gamers to meet, chat and play games with each other. Garena has introduced the latest premium online games on Garena+, including the award-winning League of Legends and other premium game titles, such as first-person shooter game BlackShot and real-time strategy game Heroes of Newerth.