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Akamai Supports Global Growth of Online Social and Casual Games
- Akamai Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ: AKAM), the leader in powering video, dynamic transactions and enterprise applications online, today announced that its range of delivery and acceleration solutions have successfully helped online social and casual gaming companies scale, expand their global reach, and manage spiky traffic around releases and updates of new and existing online games. PopCap Games, Perfect World and Mindjolt – leading developers of popular social and casual games - all work closely with Akamai as they continuously innovate to improve their online players' experiences.
"The needs of the gaming industry are very diverse, from availability to performance to support for the increasingly interactive and dynamic features available in today’s online games. Akamai works with leading console game and PC game providers to provide fast, reliable downloads, but more and more major gaming companies are recognizing that Akamai provides value across the entire gaming experience," said Suzanne Johnson, Director of Digital Media Marketing at Akamai. "These gaming companies have informed us that Akamai’s solutions have a measurable impact on their online players’ overall user experience, from the first click on their website through the completion of the download."
PopCap Games is the leading multi-platform provider of casual video games. Its games have been downloaded more than 1.5 billion times by consumers worldwide, and its flagship title, Bejeweled®, has sold more than 50 million units across all platforms. PopCap's games are played on the Web, social platforms, desktop computers, myriad mobile devices (cell phones, smartphones, PDAs, Pocket PCs, iPod, iPhone, iPad and more), popular game consoles (such as Xbox and DS), and in-flight entertainment systems. PopCap relies on Akamai to improve the performance and ensure successful downloads of their games, as well as to support the launch and continued success of the game Bejeweled Blitz on Facebook. Since that game's introduction last year, PopCap has seen its monthly traffic grow from 250 terabytes to 1.1 petabytes delivered.
"We've been serving more digital content every year, year-over-year, for a decade, and Akamai's download and delivery solutions remove a lot of the big and small technical challenges that come with such growth," said John David, VP of Social Games at PopCap. "Having Akamai's technology and expertise always close at hand enables us to devote more energy and attention to what we do best: making world class games with the broadest possible appeal, greatest interoperability and multi-platform availability."
With more than 20 million active members, Mindjolt is among the fastest growing companies in the social gaming space, already profitable through a combination of advertising and virtual goods’ sales. Launching later this year on mobile devices around the globe, Minjdolt already offers more than 1,300 games playable on social networks and sites including Facebook, Mindjolt.com and MySpace.
"With each week that Inside Social Games ranks us as a ‘Top Gainer’ in social games, we are reminded that Mindjolt is big and getting bigger," said Aber Whitcombe, CTO at Mindjolt. "With rapid growth and hundreds of games from developers around the world, we’re building out Mindjolt to become the best platform for independent game developers to reach a global audience. The technology powering that platform is crucial; Akamai solutions seamlessly support our continued global growth and facilitate global reach, performance and scalability for all our games."
Perfect World Entertainment
Perfect World Entertainment is a leader in quality, free-to-play online games and provides online services in North America. Perfect World Entertainment’s innovative micro-transaction business model offers greater customization by allowing players to purchase a large variety of non-essential game enhancements and upgrades such as character customizations and convenience items. In September 2008, Perfect World Entertainment partnered with Akamai to launch its flagship game, Perfect World International. In anticipation of the launch, Perfect World Entertainment leveraged Akamai’s HTTP Download solution to handle game delivery and images, as well as Akamai’s Streaming solutions to support game trailer delivery and online advertising. As a cornerstone to its website and online forums, Perfect World Entertainment implemented Akamai’s Rich Media Accelerator and has since launched six other sites on Akamai.
"Perfect World Entertainment strives to offer players the best gameplay experience possible and through our partnership with Akamai, our websites are able to reflect the high quality and polish of our games," said Yoon Im, Vice President and General Manager of Game Publishing at Perfect World Entertainment Inc. "Akamai’s robust solutions allow us to focus more on providing players with the highest quality content as well as accentuate our first class customer support and community."
Industry Growth Projections
eMarketer reported that Trendstream and Lightspeed Research estimated that 25% of US Internet users ages 16 to 64 played social games monthly in February 2010. Based on its own estimate of 160 million US Internet users ages 18 to 64 (the closest age range to Trendstream/Lightspeed’s survey), eMarketer concluded that this represents nearly 40 million users.
"Social gaming has become an online phenomenon. Thanks to the massive popularity of Facebook and the addictive appeal of real-time simulation games, social gaming has gained widespread adoption," said Paul Verna, eMarketer analyst in the June 2010 Social Gaming: Virtual Crops Yield Real Profits report ( http://bit.ly/aRvrja). "The success of social gaming is part of a broader transformation to more casual, socially interactive environments. Forecasts call for continued growth in the social gaming audience, and companies that have built their businesses in the traditional video game industry are shifting resources toward this newer form of game play.
The Akamai Difference
Akamai® provides market-leading managed services for powering video, dynamic transactions, and enterprise applications online. Having pioneered the content delivery market one decade ago, Akamai's services have been adopted by the world's most recognized brands across diverse industries. The alternative to centralized Web infrastructure, Akamai's global network of tens of thousands of distributed servers provides the scale, reliability, insight and performance for businesses to succeed online. Akamai has transformed the Internet into a more viable place to inform, entertain, advertise, interact, and collaborate. To experience The Akamai Difference, visit www.akamai.com.