The COVID-19 pandemic has devastated many industries. However, gaming is one such industry that has seen a reversal of fortunes. The mobile gaming industry is one of the fastest-growing segments, with an enormous turnaround of $77.2B in 2020. The industry has also seen a record growth of 12% increase in players. Mobile games constitute about 21% of all Android app downloads and 25% of all iOS app downloads.
In addition to these trends, a trend to reach audiences through in-game ads through games in growing. According to another study, mobile games account for up to 33% of all app downloads, and 74% of consumers spend their 10% of all time in-app. Contrary to popular belief, the gender split is 51% female, and 49% male.
Another interesting characteristic of the gaming industry is that the revenue for a game title goes down gradually, and if the title’s cost is steady, losses are incurred. At that point, most game content-producing companies usually close the title. Here, Mynet comes into the picture.
Mynet is a Japan-based online business company founded in 2006 that offers mobile games services and other services.Mynet doesn’t create games; instead, it acquires an existing game title, and redesigns and repackages it to run to reach a broader mobile gaming audience. This business model helps enhance the overall profitability and revenue for Mynet. A longer life in a title means better return on investment (ROI) from the initial investment.
Figure 1: Mynet’s Game Service Business Structure that makes purchased titles profitable over the long term through big data expertise
From the start, Mynet has focused on driving growth and delivering on expectational gaming user experience, using its knowledge of the gaming audience to augment the longevity of game titles to maximize ROI. The company partnered with Oracle to bring the power and agility of cloud technology to deliver on its goal to deploy highly performant, reliant, secure, and cost-effective cloud solutions.
Mynet work to transform their business and deliver an exceptional gaming user experience. The company utilizes Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) networking, compute, storage, and an array of other cloud services to deliver on its promise of connecting people using mobile games. Currently, Mynet successfully runs 36 game titles for games, such as Sangokushi Battle, Legend of Monsters, and more. As it adds more game titles for its customers in Japan, Mynet wants to expand its global business footprint.
Figure 2: Mynet game titles
Goals for cloud migration
The key goal of Mynet’s transition to the cloud was to get access to highly available, resilient, performant, and cost-effective infrastructure technologies. With OCI, Mynet improved running the highest number of game titles while bringing a tremendous mobile gaming user experience at lower costs. Its objective focuses on “smart operation,” utilizing big data to improve its services.
Mynet aims to lengthen the shelf life of each game title to maximize the ROI of the investment. A longer life of a game title also means that revenues dwindle over time, so it’s critical to reduce the operating costs. One way to reduce costs while delivering an excellent user experience is to use cloud technologies that offer superior performance, and scalability at lower costs. Keeping in mind this specific consideration of its business, Mynet evaluated multiple cloud vendors, and OCI fit the bill.
The migration from AWS to OCI started in August 2019 with the game title, “Saga of Ishtaria,” The entire migration process was smooth and attained within three weeks. It was achieved with the vast knowledge Mynet has and the capabilities OCI offered. It was also unlike the experience Mynet had with any previous cloud migrations with competing cloud vendors.
The company’s IT executive and engineering team also wanted to deploy a multicloud strategy that used public cloud solutions from Oracle, Alibaba Cloud, and Tencent Cloud, utilizing the best cloud for each game service’s particular characteristics. OCI’s ability to seamlessly integrate and extend cloud environment with other third-party cloud vendors made it easier for Mynet to consume services from other cloud vendors like Alibaba, Akamai, CloudFront, and Fastly. These services from other cloud vendors and OCI helped Mynet better manage and optimize its multicloud environment to meet the requirements specific to the game titles that it ran. Mynet partnered with OCI for high availability, enterprise-grade security, scale, and superior performance, all delivered at optimized cost.
The suite of Oracle products used
To make the seamless deployment, Mynet partnered with the Oracle Cloud architect and third-party managed service provider from Japan. The team put together recommended solutions based on Mynet’s business and technical requirements. Mynet used the following OCI services to deliver the cloud solution that achieved its business goals:
- Compute service: Oracle offers secure and elastic compute options in the cloud that range from flexible virtual machines (flex VMs) and bare metal servers at a lower cost. Customers can choose processors from Intel, AMD, NVIDIA, and Arm. Mynet’s cloud deployment used AMD E3, E4, E2, and Intel Xeon-based X7 processors.
- Block Volumes: Mynet utilized highly reliable, performant block volume storage from Oracle. With built-in redundancy, Block Volumes are persistent and durable beyond the lifespan of a virtual machine and can scale to 1 PB per Compute instance. Block Volumes were perfect for the Mynet use case because they let them expand and scale storage while offering persistent and durable storage. Mynet uses Block Volume Standard with up to 25K IOPS for web servers and applications servers and Block Volume Higher Performance with up to 50K IOPS for database servers.
- Object Storage: Mynet used internet-scale, high-performance OCI Object Storage service. The service offered Mynet a reliable, cost-efficient, and data-durable storage service that can store an unlimited amount of structured and unstructured data, including analytic data and rich content, like images and videos.
- File Storage: OCI File Storage service provides a durable, scalable, secure, enterprise-grade network file system that a customer can connect to bare metal, virtual machine, or container instance using a virtual cloud network (VCN). File Storage offered Mynet access to a fully managed elastic file system that can scale automatically to accommodate structured and unstructured data growth.
- Outbound Data Transfer: Moving data over the public internet is not always feasible because of high network costs, unreliable network connectivity, long transfer times, and security concerns. Mynet took advantage of this offline data transfer service that lets them migrate data to and from OCI with ease at a much faster speed than transferring the data over the internet.
- Flexible load balancer: OCI Flexible Load Balancing service enabled Mynet to route HTTP/HTTPS traffic across a fleet of servers based on requester’s content, yielding high availability and fault tolerance for their mobile gaming services across game titles.
- Health Checks: The service provided Mynet the ability to monitor the availability and performance of its publicly facing services, including hosted websites, API endpoints, and externally facing load balancers. Using this service, Mynet determined any availability issues that its gaming customers might be experiencing to take corrective action immediately.
- Email Delivery: Mynet used OCI Email Delivery service to provide a fast and reliable managed solution to send high-volume emails that need to reach its gaming customer’s inboxes. Email Delivery provided the tools necessary to send an application-generated email for critical communications such as receipts, fraud detection alerts, multi-factor identity verification, and password resets.
- Functions: This serverless platform lets developers create, run, and scale applications without managing any infrastructure. Mynet uses this service to make their game service operation efficient.
- Internet gateway: Customers can add this optional virtual router to their VCN to enable direct connectivity to the internet, which Mynet utilizes.
Technical implementation on OCI
Initially, Mynet did a proof of concept with Oracle. They decided to partner with OCI to transition to the cloud starting with eight game titles. Figure 3 explains the reference architecture for one of its game titles, “Saga of Ishtaria.” Almost the same architecture is applicable for many other Mynet game titles that run on OCI. Mynet uses two OCI regions, Tokyo and Phoenix. Each application, such as web, virtual currency, authentication, and advertisement, was run separately on its instance. They used a flexible load balancer to route the traffic seamlessly. Users could access the game titles through the internet, and the Oracle internet gateway helped route traffic from and to different instances using Flexible Load Balancing.
Figure 3: Reference Architecture for game title “Saga of Ishtaria”
One of the critical goals of Mynet was to deploy a multicloud strategy. They use OCI, Tencent, Alibaba, and multiple cloud vendors, depending upon the game’s characteristics. The company is pleased with the enterprise security that OCI offers.
As the head of engineering at Mynet, Horikoshi Yuki considered security essential when choosing a cloud. “Oracle’s security seems strong. Oracle Cloud Guard and Web Application Firewall (WAF) with standard security are great services.” He also felt that the peace of mind that they got from OCI was immense. In addition, Mynet was happy with services like Oracle Linux. “Oracle Linux ensures that Oracle always applies the latest security patches to ensure its security. I think that it’s an important merit that it’s hard to see, because it cannot be realized with CentOS.”
Results achieved with OCI
Partnering with Oracle, Mynet was able to get superior performance at a lower price. The company reduced cloud costs by about 80% in most of the game titles. They achieved a cost-saving of over $1M in twelve months. The company also cut the processing time needed for one title from an hour to just 10 minutes, meaning six-time improvement in the batch operation performance.
The company also saw a drastic improvement in the game performance for the feature of large scale multiplayer where more players can page the game simultaneously in multiple rooms. For example, 20 players can play against other 20 players at the same time. With Oracle’s commitment to its customers with its security-first approach across compute, network, and storage, down to the hardware, Mynet felt assured that their business-critical workloads would be well protected. Services like Oracle Cloud Guard help Mynet gain a unified view of cloud security posture across OCI customer tenants, and WAF protects applications from malicious and unwanted internet traffic.
With OCI, Mynet can scale automatically, allowing the systems for specific game titles to run almost entirely without any human intervention. OCI’s ability to scale on-demand has also helped the company better manage game environments, especially during periods of heavy traffic, like with large-scale multiplayer games that players pay during odd times of the day. OCI has truly helped Mynet realize its goal of achieving smart operations and automation using cloud infrastructure built to scale on-demand for a broad set of enterprise workloads.
Mynet is continuing its journey to grow its business by adding more games titles to its portfolio to offer its customer’s thrilling gaming experiences with anytime, anywhere quality and letting players meet in a digitally connected world. As the company focuses on delivering more on its promise, it relies on cloud technologies and technology partners like Oracle to help it achieve those objectives. Mynet is considering many other cloud services from Oracle like Oracle MySQL Database service on OCI to increase the efficiency of the game titles. It also expects to install the best analyzing infrastructure with MySQL Database Heatwave, a high-performance data warehouse. Mynet is also looking into migrating many more game titles to Oracle Cloud Infrastructure in the future.
To learn more, see the following resources:
- Learn more about the cloud deployment options from Oracle
- Living with multicloud: a foundation architecture framework
- Learn more about Oracle Cloud Infrastructure
- Oracle Cloud Lift services and Oracle Consulting
- Learn more about how Oracle is powering gaming and sports streaming services
The author would like to thank Hiroyuki Hatsuzawa, ODP cloud sales representative for Mynet, Hidetoshi Kaino, ODP cloud staff solution engineer, and Kaoru Yamakawa, ODP cloud master principal solution engineer, from Oracle Japan for their inputs. The author also wants to especially thank Yuki Horikoshi, head of engineering team at Mynet, for sharing his time, insight, and expertise.
Mynet adopts Oracle Cloud Guard to help protect against threats
The game app developer relies on Oracle Cloud Guard Threat Detector to identify malicious user behavior and create stronger security countermeasures.