Korean gaming firm Nexon is using Microsoft Azure to expand into gaming markets across the world. The cloud technology has enabled the $30-billion business to deliver highly available, scalable and agile gaming experiences to its customers.
Nexon has been developing PC games since the 1990s, when it created the successful multiplayer online role playing game Nexus: The Kingdom of the Winds.
“Games have become even more advanced and technically demanding,” said JaeBeom Cho, game infrastructure lead at Nexon. “We had to make sure services run smoothly even with a sudden increase of gamers. These are not just small surges; sometimes we see increases from tens to millions simultaneously. This led us to adopt cloud services to help respond to any potential incidents more rapidly. Time is a critical element in an extremely fast-paced gaming service environment.”
In 2018, Nexon began using Microsoft Azure.
“Life is short for mobile games,” said Chunghoon Ryu, head of infrastructure in Nexon’s technology department. “At a game’s lifetime peak, millions of gamers participate simultaneously. It is essential to provide robust services regardless of the number of users. Microsoft Azure provides huge agility by flexibly deploying the workload. The services perfectly meet the dynamic life cycle of mobile games.”
The cloud platform also delivers cost benefits to Nexon.
“We do not have to invest in in-house high-end devices to run graphically demanding mobile games for only short periods of peak demand,” said Ryu. “We simply pay for what we need because the service automatically adapts to the load.”
Nexon’s shift to the cloud came just in time for restrictions created by the Covid-19 pandemic. The firm had already implemented Microsoft 365, so employees transitioned to working from home.
“Employees started using Microsoft online tools for easy email management and productive collaboration,” said Ryu. “All of our 6,150 workers today are using Microsoft 365 E5. We switched from just Exchange online and Microsoft Teams to E5 because of E5’s advanced security features. As you can imagine, cybersecurity is very important to gaming companies.”