Games MEA speaks with Paul Jackson, Director at Akamai Technologies about the evolution of gaming industry in the region and how as the dominant player Akamai enables game developers offer a better user experience.
How is your association with gaming industry and how important is gaming as business segment for you?
Gaming firms are only second to video delivery firms in terms of the media companies we work with. They appreciate our ability to reliably delivery their games to players, secure their websites and development environments and protect both players and IP assets.
What kind of products or solutions do you provide to the gaming industry?
As a company, our view of the game development life cycle can be broken into four steps: Develop, Promote, Deliver, and Play. We often say that great gaming experiences start with Akamai; and that is because we offer solutions that help developers and publishers at every step along the way. The biggest gaming companies in the world all trust Akamai. In 2017, Akamai delivered over 1 billion games globally from our edge network.
The world’s biggest names in gaming trust Akamai for three key reasons. The first is internal expertise. Akamai was there for the biggest game launches of the last decade, with Akamai technical experts working closely alongside developers, publishers, and platform owners to make sure launches went successfully. The second factor is the scale of our network. Akamai is everywhere you want to be. We’re not only in the major markets, like the U.S., Germany, Japan and Korea, but we’re also either directly in, or one hop away from, every market where players live. The third factor is resilience. Not only the resilience of our delivery platform, but the resilience that our security and performance solutions provide to our customer’s websites and networks. Our security solutions keep the world’s biggest platforms up and running in the face of the world’s largest DDoS attacks.
Finally, Akamai is actively developing new ways to help gaming companies improve the player experience. Every month we’re testing new technologies and new solutions. We know that gaming companies utilize increasingly distributed workforces and need to manage the contributions and access rights of a range of employees and contractors. Our new Enterprise solutions are the ideal fix for this. We also know that the way multiplayer has been architected for decades, is not necessarily the way that it will be done in the future. And we know that new business models will emerge in the next three to eight years involving cloud gaming. Akamai will be there with solutions to all of these challenges and help gaming customers provide better experiences for all.
How would you define the regional gaming industry?
The MEA market is relatively immature compared to the US or Western Europe. And that brings both the benefits and challenges associated with fast growth. On the positive side, the region has sidestepped much of the painful retail and piracy issues prevalent in gaming a decade ago and can now plot its own course in terms of regional developers, game styles and digital distribution. The downside is that that network infrastructure is still lacking in many parts of the region and there isn’t that decades old network of businesses and regulators that understand games.
What message would you like to give to the gaming developers or gaming startups in the region?
Given some of the regional background above, some MEA markets may feel daunting to approach – but look closer and there is a rich mix of large countries, much younger that average populations, and established local telcos and media firms that can support successful game development and release. Its also easier than ever to develop and publish mobile games – the bigger issue is getting noticed. So don’t be afraid to explore local themes, languages, and pastimes – you don’t need to create the next global gaming hit to be successful.