Apache Kafka is making waves in the software industry. This event streaming platform is slowly becoming the favourite of many industries. One such example that is benefiting from Apache Kafka is the gaming industry.
In this blog we will discuss how event streaming with Kafka provides a scalable and efficient infrastructure to make the gaming industry even more successful and great customer experience for all the gamers.
Evolution in the gaming industry
The biggest challenge for the gaming industry is that it must process billions of events per day and ensure reliable data processing. Deployments need to be run globally and for millions of users all the time without fail.
These requirements are essential for hardcore games like multiplayer game, and also for mid-core and casual games. Hence, reliable and scalable real-time screaming becomes even more essential. That is why Apache Kafka in the gaming industry is so popular and being used almost each and every where.
Business models in the gaming industry
The option of playing games has been rapidly changing, from PCs to mobile games, there are various other options. We have enlisted some of the relevant business models in the gaming industry:
- Games sales
- Free to play and in-game purchase
- Merchandise sales
- Live betting
- Video streaming
Artificial Intelligence in gaming industry
Artificial Intelligence is becoming the need of the hour and being utilized in the gaming industry as well. Some use cases are-
- In-game AI- Such as Non-playable characters, environments, features
- Fraud detection- Cheating, abuse
- Game analytics- Retention and game changes
- Research- New Algorithms and improved AI
Many of the gaming use cases use AI with Kafka in-
Hybrid gaming architectures
The reason behind so many game related projects using Kafka is the demand for open, scalable platforms and real-time processing. The interesting thing is that the infrastructure is most of the time global i.e., sometimes cloud only and sometimes hybrid. If a game is excellent, it definitely gets deployed and rolled out across the world.
Let us now understand various use cases and architectures of Apache Kafka in the gaming industry.
Monitoring live operations
Monitoring the results of live operations are essential when it comes to mission-critical applications. Some uses cases are-
- Game clients, services and servers
- Service health round the clock
- Special events
Correct troubleshooting requires real-time monitoring. Lot of data has to be correlated and monitored to keep the infrastructure running smoothly and to troubleshoot issues.
Real-time Analytics & game telemetry
Game telemetry describes how a player plays a game. It includes player information like user action, game environments metrics, and technical information. Here are some use cases for game telemetry-
- Game monitoring
- Players progress and problems occured
- Live Operations
- Real-time server-side changes
- Real-time updates to improve the game
Monetization networks are useful in real-time advertising and in-app purchase. It can-
- Reward players for watching ads
- Incorporate banner ads
- Incorporate AR ads
- Playable ads
Gaming industry can leverage Kafka for a real-time monetization network, feed machine learning models for real-time, and low latency for data lakes.
Chat functions within games and across
Building a chat platform is one of the most important and easy tasks in today’s world. Chatting inclues sending text, in-game screenshots and other things. Millions of events are processed in real-time, and a cross-platform chat function needs to support various technologies and programming languages.
Apache Kafka’s characteristics have made it the best choice for chat platforms because of its high scalability, real-time processing and backpressure handling.
Analytics for Retention, compliance and customer satisfaction
Client retention is essential to keep engagement and revenue growth. Some examples for real-time streaming analytics use cases
- Player winning or losing streak
- Player conversion
- Game achievement
- Provide exciting offers to unhappy players
Fraud detection in gaming industry
Real-time analytics for detecting fraud and anomalies is becoming a widespread scenario. There are two different types of fraud that are creating troubles for the gaming industry-
- Cheating- Fake accounts, bots etc,
- Financial Fraud- Match fixing, stolen credit card fraud, etc.
These frauds can be easily detected by Apache Kafka in real-time.
The bottom line
As we have learned here, Apache Kafka is being used everywhere in the gaming industry be it games, betting and video streaming. Apart from above mentioned used cases, there are a lot of gaming use cases which are growing with Apache Kafka.
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