Pokemon Go often would become unavailable for many players whenever it was launched in a new country. People said it was because the servers were struggling to cope up with the wave of new players. Now Google, which provided those servers to Pokemon Go creator Niantic Labs, has disclosed just how big that wave was in contrast to what was expected.
Pokemon Go exceeds expectations
In a blog post, Luke Stone director of “customer reliability engineering” at Google Cloud, detailed some of what went on behind the scenes as Pokemon Go became the most popular and fastest growing app of all time after its launch on July 6. The chart provided by Google and available on its cloud database shows that the actual traffic produced by the mobile game superseded Ninatic Labs’ planned traffic by 50 times at release.
“Not everything was smooth sailing at launch! When issues emerged around the game’s stability, Niantic and Google engineers braved each problem in sequence, working quickly to create and deploy solutions,” Stone noted.
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Since Google’s chart is indexed, it does not reveal the actual figures involved; however, third-party firms estimate that the mobile game peaked at 45 million daily active users. If this data is accurate and is applied to the data from Google Cloud, it suggests that the launch target traffic of Niantic was about 900,000 users or 4.5 million users if things went quite well, notes Quartz.
How did Google manage the traffic?
Pokemon Go, the first application and mobile game to use a new feature of Google’s cloud computing program, allowed developer Niantic to share the responsibility for keeping the servers up. Before the launch of the successful mobile game, Google and the gaming company set an anticipated traffic target, and also “the worst case scenario” at about five times higher than that target.
But the actual amount of traffic was about 10 times higher than the worst-case scenario and 50 times more than the game developer’s expectation. Google says it managed to add extra capacity “seamlessly” to allow Niantic to stay well ahead of their “record-setting growth.” However, the gaming app has not been able to keep up with its huge launch success, with monthly active users declining by around 20 million people over the month since August 12, claimed market analysts Apptopia.
Google Customer Reliability Engineering was interestingly created just in time for the game’s launch. Its first customer was Niantic.