Your opinion: how annoying are the ongoing operations of a social game?

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todd_fixer 101 Jun 10, 2013 at 08:45 mobile social networking online server

I have two questions about the pain-point for game developers in the ongoing operations of social games.

Full Disclosure: I’m in charge of business development for English-speaking clients at a Japanese cloud computing & development firm that specializes in this as one of our service (operating social games for developers & producers).

Questions:

  • How much of a pain (and time-sink) is it for you to monitor your servers & do daily operating of a social game?
  • How interested would you be in outsourcing this work to another firm, so you can focus resources on the game content/design?

Background:
In the rapidly-growing Japanese social game development scene, we’ve seen a big need for outsourcing the daily operations of games. We’ve seen this for large AAA companies as well as for small development studios with limited resources. Social games are unique in the frequency that the backend is updated to optimize user conversions, as well as the amount of “events” and feature additions that are pushed to a game to keep users engagement and retention up.
I imagine the same desire to outsource this “grunt work” exists in the non-Japanese game development market, but I’m curious to hear all of your opinions as I know things can vary from culture to culture.

My Definition of “outsourcing operations”:
When I write about outsourcing operations, I’m referring to the following:

  • 24/7/365 monitoring of servers/systems
    • adding/removing servers to handle spikes in traffic
    • emergency repair if anything malfunctions or goes down
  • prepping & deploying new creative content to the game (new cards, characters, etc.)
  • tweaking game elements to optimize user interaction & conversion rates

Thoughts? Is this a service you would pay for to be able to focus more on the actual game development?

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