AWS CASE STUDY: SUPERCELL

Finland-based Supercell, founded in 2010 by six game-industry veterans, is one of the fastest-growing social game companies in the world. With more than 100 employees, its three games are massively successful, attracting tens of millions of players on iOS and Android devices every day. These games are Hay Day, a social farming game, and Clash of Clans and Boom Beach, which combine social resource management and strategic combat elements.

The Challenge

These technical teams at Supercell needed not only cloud computing services that were easy to use, powerful, and reliable, but also a set of services that matched their requirements for high-volume games performance, scalability, and rapid growth. “Similarly, we need a powerful infrastructure for running our data pipelines, analytics platform, and web offerings. Choosing Amazon Web Services was an easy decision, and we’ve been using its cloud technologies since day one,” says Yliharju.

Why Amazon Web Services

Supercell is using Amazon Kinesis for real-time delivery of in-game data, handling 45 billion events per day. Whereas it recently ran its own Hadoop instances on Amazon EC2, it now uses Amazon Elastic MapReduce (Amazon EMR) to provide a managed Hadoop framework before passing the data into its data warehouse service running on top of Amazon EC2 instances. Kinesis data is also read into Amazon DynamoDB. “Amazon DynamoDB is good for use cases like ours where scalability and speed are crucial,” says Yliharju.

To monitor, manage, and control its environment, Supercell uses a range of tools in the AWS Console. Amazon CloudWatch and AWS CloudTrail allow it to monitor the current environment and give it a detailed log of all actions in the development and production environments. “The AWS API is one of the most important services for us — we use it a lot,” Yliharju says. “For example, the API commands allow us to easily manage and boot up new servers and even run full load-testing environments to simulate different situations and determine our capacity needs.” Supercell also makes good use of the Amazon API Gateway, and it uses AWS Lambda to run code in response to events and automatically manage the associated compute resources. Yliharju says, “We use AWS Lambda and the API Gateway when building API-based services that need scalability.”

The Benefits

This scalability has allowed the company to expand into China, which is home to one-quarter of all Internet users and represents a huge market opportunity. The size of our infrastructure would be very hard to maintain with a physical on-premises setup, especially as the success of game releases is not predictable

Using Amazon Kinesis, Supercell can process data up 45 billion in-game events a day. “We collect data because our games don’t stay in the top-ten lists automatically. Success has to be earned by listening to the community and the players, providing additional features, and balancing the game to make it fair for everyone. Amazon Kinesis gives our business-critical analytics and dashboard applications the data streams they need, reliably and without delays,” Yliharju says. “Amazon Kinesis does a lot of the heavy lifting, and lets Supercell focus on delivering games that delight players worldwide.” With this insight, developers can make in-game changes either on the fly or in larger, scheduled updates. This data also provides in-depth information to the Supercell support team, helping it support the player community.

The company also benefits from AWS Enterprise Support. “AWS Support is always available whenever we need it,” Yliharju says. “We particularly like learning about upcoming AWS features and changes in advance from our technical account manager, so we have time to prepare.

“The world of gaming never sleeps. We have a 24/7 audience,” Yliharju concludes. “We owe every player a great experience, and AWS is our platform to make that happen.”

Services of AWS used by supercell

Amazon S3

Amazon EMR

Amazon EC2

Amazon S3 Glacier & S3 Glacier Deep Archive

Thank you for reading !!

Aspiring Cloud DevOps Engineer