Friday, February 3, 2012

Game Over for NoSQL? Discussing Databases in Online Social Gaming

According to VentureBeat*, games companies raised a record-breaking $1.54 billion in funding last year and social gaming accounted for over half of that. No wonder everyone wants to have a piece of that pie!

With the arrival of social network platforms, the gaming industry has seen an explosion in casual and social gaming. The social gamer represents a massive audience that cuts across all age, gender and demographic boundaries. Online social games are some of the most demanding applications in the world, with millions of users, stringent response times, complex simulation models and billing requirements. Games take years to develop for a reason ...

Online social games are data-driven applications, and databases are central to these applications. However, there is no single database architecture that will fit the different types of data that the application needs to store. A data management architecture needs to account for the diversity of data, and optimize for some of the differences in the datatypes. E.g. it is ok to lose leaderboard data during a game as it can be reconstituted, whereas billing data needs to be 100% ACID.

Therefore, with the generous contribution of Joshua Butcher, we just published a whitepaper that discusses the different types of data stored for various functions in social gaming. We will see that there cannot be a one-size-fits-all approach to database architecture, and suggest a sharding strategy based on schema partitioning.

With our new whitepaper, we’re also starting a discussion on what the database of choice might be for anyone wanting to develop online social games. With so many NoSQL databases now available, one might wonder why MySQL would be a good database choice for the gaming industry. To find out, download our whitepaper today!

If you have any questions or comments, feel free to reply to this blog below or reach out to us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Xing, Twitter or directly via these contact details.



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