Architect to handle game virality and scale with user demand

Social gaming and online sports betting are competitive environments. Your game must be able to handle large volumes of unpredictable traffic while simultaneously promising zero downtime. For these companies, user retention is no longer just desirable, it’s critical. Gamers expect to play whenever they want for as long as they want, and have a low tolerance for delays or lag. At the heart of any successful game is a database that maintains 100% uptime, scales in real time to handle millions of users or more, and provides users a responsive and personalized experience across all of their devices. This is why gaming and betting companies choose Couchbase as they move away from monolithic solutions to microservice-based architectures, focusing on building engaging, responsive, and scalable applications.

Customer success spotlight

"Harnessing the power of the cloud through Capella has allowed us to successfully run applications across multiple regions in parallel quickly and seamlessly. We are delighted to work closely with Couchbase." – Jae Beom Cho, Director of Game Infrastructure, Nexon

Customer success story

Betfair uses Couchbase to process 30,000 bets per minute from more than 4 million funded user accounts across 140 countries.

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>4 million funded user accounts
across 140 countries

Jam City scaled its popular app Cookie Jam to meet the demand of 5 million users globally in under 8 months – and earned Facebook game of the year.

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5 million users globally
in under 8 months

Why Couchbase NoSQL for gaming applications

Scale: Easier, more affordable scalability

For social games that have the potential to go viral, the ability to start small and grow instantly is critical. Equally, the ability to scale down as the lifecycle of a game tails off allows reclamation of resources without having to switch technologies. Meeting the demand for games with thousands, if not millions, of players can overwhelm relational databases with increasing, even volatile workloads. Unlike relational databases like Oracle and MySQL, Couchbase supports these ever-increasing workloads and spikes in throughput demands and scales (in, out, up, or down) easily and without disruption.

Performance: Better performance than any other database

The most important aspect of any game is its player experience, and with rising expectations and the need for instant gratification, guaranteeing consistent, low-latency data access is critical. While other NoSQL databases like MongoDB™ require a third-party cache – adding to both cost and complexity – Couchbase has a fully integrated read-through and write-through caching layer. Couchbase’s memory and network-centric architecture consistently delivers the sub-millisecond responsiveness that today’s users expect.

Availability: Built-in high availability and disaster recovery

Player experience begins with availability. With users worldwide, a game not only has to be available 24x7, 365 days a year, it has to be available everywhere – with no single point of failure.  Couchbase provides five-nines availability with built-in high availability and flexible cross data center replication (XDCR) capabilities that supports disaster recovery and data locality requirements. With Couchbase, you have full control over the topology – unidirectional, bidirectional, or any configuration you need.

Mobile: Integrated mobile capabilities support omnichannel experiences

Today’s gamer expects great experiences on their personal devices. Couchbase is the only NoSQL database with built-in mobile support. Couchbase Mobile extends Couchbase Server to the edge with an embedded NoSQL database (Couchbase Lite) and a web gateway (Sync Gateway), enabling apps to work offline regardless of network availability, and powering use cases at the edge such as personalization, peer-to-peer messaging and sharing, and more.

Flexibility: Lower costs and faster time to market

Couchbase drives the flexibility and increased operational efficiency you need to keep up with the constantly updated and changing gaming data. Couchbase’s powerful query language allows developers to easily query JSON data using familiar, SQL-like expressions. Tightly integrated full-text search, real-time analytics, and powerful eventing services make it easy to add new features to your application on the fly without moving data into and managing dozens of database technologies, finally putting an end to database sprawl.

Analytics: Integrated analytics capabilities for real-time data insights

Couchbase Analytics reduces the time to insight on operational data and simplifies operations for analytical data pipelines. Run ad hoc queries on data for real-time results and apply real-time analytics to monitor your applications.

Industry use cases & solutions

User profile

Store user profile data to enable multiple services (e.g., authentication, personalization). User profiles contain data that’s specific to the user (e.g., location, preferences, friends) enabling them to play multiple games, often across different platforms and devices. Social gaming company Playtika stores user score, save state, messages, and more in Couchbase.

Session store

Manage user sessions containing information related to current player state – whether they are playing or between games, how long they’ve been logged in, where they are, and what they’re doing – in memory for low-latency performance, and enabling them to resume play if they’re interrupted. Betfair relies on Couchbase to support session state, cross-session state, and server persistence.

Messaging

Enable players to message their friends, invite them to join games, and receive notifications about changes to their state (e.g., offline, online, playing) – all things necessary to create a social environment. Further, use messaging to provide in-game support, engaging players who are having difficulties.

Mainframe offload

By caching frequently used data, response times are improved and costs are substantially lowered through reduced workloads. If your app runs on a relational database like Oracle which requires costly hardware in order to scale, or a mainframe like Db2 which charges you by the MIP, a scale-out cache that runs on low-cost servers is more cost-effective.

Personalization

Maintain game and player data for achievements and rewards, statistics and points, leaderboards and rankings, social activity feeds, teams and clans, and more – all to create a single view of your user. Give your users real-time, personalized updates and offers including cross-sell and upsell opportunities.

Customer 360

Capture omnichannel engagements to create a single view and provide real-time, personalized data, updates, and offers at every touchpoint.

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Catalog & inventory management

Deliver catalog and inventory data at scale to keep up with changing gaming and betting content.

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Field service

Provide or collect data at the source and enable users to access data even when the device is offline.

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IoT data management

Leverage connected devices to deliver content and personalized offers to users in real time.

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Gaming reference architecture

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