In this case study, you can read about how a French software development company is managing to stay competitive in the gaming industry by having an easily scalable IT cloud infrastructure that can meet demands of the unpredictable social, casual gaming market.
Headquartered in Paris, France, Kobojo is a software development company that produces social, casual games that customers can access online. The company’s games, including the popular Goobox, are available on Facebook and some mobile phones and will soon be available on MySpace and other social networking websites.
The games market is hugely competitive, but every now and then, a new company comes along and shakes it up. Kobojo has done just that, with its particular approach to the market. This French start-up has become one of Europe’s leaders in social gaming in less than two years. Today, the company has six social games launched with more on the way. Kobojo doesn’t just look at the English language market but also provides games for often under-served markets in other languages, including French, Spanish, Italian and German. Going forward, Kobojo is concentrating on more games for Facebook and other social networks, smartphone applications; and distribution of other vendors’ games, localised from English into different languages.
In order to support the traffic for its portfolio of online games, Kobojo had created an on-premises infrastructure composed of 10 physical applications and database servers. However, this physical infrastructure was difficult to scale as quickly as the company needed. This situation was not unique in the social gaming market, where successful games can quickly attract millions of users in a short period of time. For instance, Goobox attracted three million unique users in just less than one month after it was released. With that kind of popularity, Kobojo needed to scale up its infrastructure quickly in order to support a dramatic increase in the number of users it serves.
The game developer decided to host its latest game—RobotZ—on Windows Azure, a technology hosted in Microsoft data centers that serves as the development, service hosting, and service management environment for the Windows Azure platform.
“You can have a great idea, but then you need to find the ingredient for success. For us, scalability and the ability to scale with Windows Azure is that secret ingredient.” Vincent Vergonjeanne, CEO
Partnership with Microsoft has been key to the company’s strategy throughout its lifecycle. For instance, its founders each entered and were either finalists or winners of the Imagine Cup, a Microsoft competition for ICT students.
As a result of using Windows Azure, Kobojo is confident that it has in place an infrastructure that can scale up quickly to meet the demands of the unpredictable social, casual gaming market and is prepared for future growth. By relying on Microsoft data centers and the service-oriented structure of Windows Azure, Kobojo also simplified IT maintenance. Kobojo avoided capital expenses associated with its RobotZ game, which the company estimates at €40,000 for its initial launch. As the company relies more and more on Windows Azure for future games, its savings will continue to compound. Kobojo will also save on operational costs. In total, over a three-year period, the company expects to save 65.1% by using Windows Azure, compared to an on-premises, virtualized infrastructure.
“Microsoft has also helped us meet a lot of useful partners. We’ve used the Microsoft Technology Centre in Paris to help us with development, and we were among the first users of .NET. BizSpark has been great for us, and being inside the Idees program in France has given us business training and technical support.”
Vincent Vergonjeanne, CEO
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