At gamescom last week I saw a gratifying pattern of publishers making their high-end titles available on many different devices. On multiple occasions, while discussing the benefits of working with a gaming-focused delivery provider like Highwinds GDN, I was asked something to the effect of “Why would I need a CDN when I’m already publishing on Steam and the App Store?”
In fact that sort of laudable device-agnostic release strategy highlights one of the key gains from leveraging the GDN. We’re at an exciting point in the technology curve where the old stratification of fidelity – high-end PC gamers > console gamers > handheld gamers > mobile gamers – no longer applies.
Rather than a target platform and a handful of second-rate ports or sublicenses, you can actually target every kind of gamer at once, in house, with the same level of sophistication. To understand the profits and challenges of doing so, just evaluate what advantages you reap by using platform stores.
Valve’s Steam, Google’s Play, Apple’s App Store and Sony’s Playstation Network, for instance, have a lot in common. They’re all first-rate platforms for the monetization, promotion and distribution of your game. They all have dedicated teams of experts who focus on the experience of getting your software into the hands of your users. They all have a globally distributed footprint of specialist systems designed to deliver data quickly to clients wherever they’re found.
What they don’t have in common are: approval procedures, release windows, rules, analytics and a centralized method to facilitate multi-platform game publishing. Coordinating between the different platform stores requires a tremendous amount of planning and process, especially if you adopt an “every platform is first tier” approach rather than leaving some users in the dust from a features and content standpoint.
For many companies, the critical issue is how to resolve the desire to promote your game on each device’s premier retailer with the need to keep updates consistent across your user base. By bringing your own infrastructure to the update structure, you can achieve both aims and reserve the flexibility and control to update when you want rather than when the platform store lets you.
The process of separating static content like textures, balance constants and maps – sometimes referred to as side loading in the mobile space – means that you can harmonize content releases between console, phone, tablet and PC versions of your title while staying within the terms of service of their respective platform stores.
Taking on the responsibility for updates does require a bit of investment, mostly in the form of foresight and planning, so that your client side code is capable of handling it. However, that investment will pay dividends the first time your content changes.
We’re ready to handle your end user delivery with the footprint, network relationships and world class expertise that many of the largest platform stores leverage to their own advantage.
Learn more today and see why we are the fastest CDN on the planet. We’ll even get you started with a free trial.
By Bradley Andrews, Product Director