Technology induced by the online gaming platforms to manage the unanticipated traffic during lockdown

secretly palming a playing card at poker table with poker chips
holding a card secretly exposed view at a poker table

The Indian digital gaming industry is growing rapidly and with the demand for games on an upward curve the industry is witnessing new development companies, entrepreneurs, game developers and gamers coming in more frequently than ever. 

With new technology, evolved consumer behaviours and increase in popularity of gaming, more number of people are investing time in online gaming and Esports. Evidently, the increase in mobile gaming has run in parallel to the rise in smartphone adoption in India. Additionally, with the pandemic spread, many people are stuck indoors and consequently engaging in more online activities.  Much of this time is spent playing games. A leading Indian gaming platform revealed that the first weekend lockdowns were imposed, traffic to its site increased by 30%. Other leading gaming portals showed that their user base grew by 200% during the lockdown.

While the massive surge in traffic to the sites was welcome by gaming platforms, it sprung some challenges as well. Faced with an enormous increase in traffic to their websites, online gaming platforms found themselves ill-equipped to deal with the increased requests placed on their servers. For instance, platforms, where server requests increase by as much as 75,000, were overwhelmed. But online gaming portals are nothing if not adaptable. At the helm of most of these gaming portals are young, tech-savvy professionals.

They were quick to discover the need to upgrade their servers and cloud capabilities to accommodate the increase in traffic to their sites. The neat thing is they succeeded with ease. Many expanded their cloud infrastructure to meet the additional demands placed on it. Since then, while traffic to their platforms has been higher than ever before, online gaming platforms have had no difficulty in coping with the additional demands.  

When asked Mr. Yash Pariani, CEO & Founder, Indian Gaming League (IGL) says “Initially, when the lockdown was implemented, we experienced a surge in the number of concurrent users on our platform. As a result, our servers crashed twice due to the sudden spike in the number of active users. However, in order to cope up with this, our servers were upgraded to a premium version as the basic AWS is enabled with a limited and different hosting package. In addition to that, we have now started using the Content Delivery Network (CDN) in order to optimize the speed of the site while lowering the latency.”.

Commenting on the same Mr Varun Mahna, CEO & Founder, PokerDangal says 

“It’s true. This lockdown did lead to unprecedented growth in our user base that embossed more responsibility on us but, it also made us formulate unique & effective plans to ensure our users’ comfortability and platform’s smooth performance. And, when it comes to the methods or tech you are wondering we used, to avoid any technical issue on our platform, then the answer is ‘It’s not about technology, it’s about Improvisation.”.

Varun further added 

“We aren’t holding any secret set of tools to keep our platform bug-free & to manage our extensive user base. However, one thing that we have is a remarkable team of professionals, in which each member is a master of his/her niche and trained thoroughly to debug any technical fault. Now, if I have to answer this question entirely in a technical way, then I would say that our company relies on industry-standard software, in which the majority of them are AI-driven. These automated software, not only support us to make our work efficient but also helps us to manage floods of data. Especially in lockdown, me and my team improvised new techniques, procedures, or you can say strategies, to use these software modishly. We have also managed to figure out how to accommodate the herds of brilliant poker players approaching our platform to experience one of the best online-poker available on the internet. To summarize my words, I would say PokerDangal is counted among India’s topmost online poker platforms for a reason. We do not compromise on quality, and this is what helps us to do and manage our work with proficiency & integrity.“.

Mr. Sudhir Kamath, CEO & Co-Founder, 9Stacks also commented saying 

At 9stacks, we had seen a sharp increase in game play due to more people staying at home (and having more free time) due to the coronavirus lockdown. There had been a 30% uptick in the number of concurrent users (i.e., users that are logged in and playing at the same time. We at 9stacks were anyway scaling up rapidly over the last couple of years, so we have designed our systems that way. The way to prevent crashes is to design the system for scalability in the first place. Our server infrastructure is entirely cloud-based, designed using “micro-services” in such a way that they scale up or down depending upon the load at any moment, so we’ve been able to handle the surging traffic without any issues or downtime.”.