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Pixowl is serious about the speed and performance of their mobile games. That's why they chose to work with Cloudflare.
Pixowl is a mobile game studio leading a new generation of User Generated Content (UGC) games through a platform for players to create and share their own games. Pixowl, based in San Francisco with a production office in Buenos Aires, has developed games such as The Sandbox, The Sandbox Evolution, Snoopy's Town Tale, Garfield, and many others.
According to Sebastien Borget, COO & Co-Founder at Pixowl, "The mobile gaming industry is extremely competitive. Making a successful game is not just about being creative and having a nice-looking game, it’s about excellence in execution." Borget continued, "it’s essential to optimise every part of the process to operate our business. Optimising the game's overall performance, such as the speed of loading its contents, the refresh time, etc. helps us keep players both more engaged and playing longer." In fact, performance is critical in the mobile gaming industry where there is a player drop-rate in the order of magnitude of 20-40% for games if initial load times are over a minute long. To ensure fast load times and meet the performance needs of the industry Pixowl's game content, which is cloud-hosted by Digital Ocean, needed to be delivered as fast as possible to their players. To deliver these speeds Pixowl needed to develop a technologically advanced way to quickly deliver their content around the world. However, Pixowl is a lean, indie gaming studio, and as Borget puts it, "Our focus is to make great, fun, compelling games for our target audience of kids and families, not to develop complex backend technical solutions to deliver our content." Thus, Pixowl's challenge was to globally scale without distracting their engineers trying to develop games and avoiding internal headaches. They needed a solution that would quickly and dynamically load content from their API to heterogeneous devices and locations across the world to ensure the best gameplay experience possible for every player.
The best way for Pixowl to quickly and globally serve their content was to enlist the services of a Content Delivery Network (CDN). "Pixowl chose Cloudflare's CDN because it provided a simple, quick and headache-free approach to high performing Content Delivery" said Borget. "We wanted to be very lean, test rapidly and see if the solution could work." Borget Continued, "Other providers don't allow that, so it’s a huge benefit with Cloudflare." After the easy transition to Cloudflare's network, Pixowl's players saw immediate in-game performance benefits. Borget highlighted that "We’ve seen in real-time the improvements on how fast the Online Gallery of Players Worlds was loading inside our mobile game. The Gallery features a fluid UI with dynamic loading as the player scrolls through different worlds, and Cloudflare delivered our content with the speed and performance to immediately show the preview and metadata of the worlds without any asynchronous loading time." With Cloudflare's CDN, Pixowl's in-game load times have become almost unnoticeable for most players. Borget delighted that "This is really a plus for the user experience. The user gets put straight into the beginning tutorial of the game, as if there was no loading time at all!" In an industry where day-one retention ranges from 40 to 60% and every second that the player waits for the game to load increases the likelihood that he or she will stop playing, these speed and performance benefits are a definitive boon to Pixowl's future success.