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 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.
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