The gaming business is big and one of the shining example of this is Zynga, the social media gaming giant. Zynga was mentioned during the Facebook IPO a grand 22 times due to it providing 12% of the total revenue Facebook generates; an estimated $300 million a year. The Zynga gaming business model is one that even the company weren’t prepared for in terms of success, at least not at the rate it grew.
The Disaster of Success Averted
In 2007 when gaming business news were less about profit and more about selected enthusiasts, Zynga rented out space to store their IT infrastructure and servers. This was enough to meet the demand of their first game, Zynga poker. Then along came Farmville which we know from media is a gaming business success story; for some of us on a personal level. This was in 2009 and suddenly 10 million users were bogging down the company’s servers with 25 million more joining in the foray 5 months later. Needless to say even Zynga was not expecting this mass directory for their gaming business and their servers were on the brink of destruction.
Handling Runaway Success
Sometimes a company can be the victim of its own success and to combat this Zynga had to shift its IT infrastructure to the Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud. The AECC allowed Zynga the use of virtual servers and storage which ultimately saved the company from collapse between 2009 and 2010. 80% of their users were being directed through Amazon’s cloud servers which was a gaming business plan that paid off. Eventually with the profits garnered Zynga funnelled resources into creating their own server as a priority and today the 80% is instead routed through their own servers. They’re not getting rid of their Amazon service though as Allan Leinwand, CTO of Zynga, explains makes an amazing shock absorber should the company see another uncontrollable growth trend. For example, when Alec Baldwin refused to stop playing Words With Friends, the Zynga game saw an increase in users due to curiosity.
Prepare for Success
The moral of the Zynga story is that that all businesses wish for success, but are usually underprepared should that happen. Now using up to 1.4 petabytes of data, Zynga are perhaps in control and are clearly successful in the gaming business ideas market. However if they didn’t have the option or make a plan, their $300 million empire would’ve collapsed under its own weight. If you want success in the gaming business then you best prepare for it.
Eugene Calvini is a writer and business commentator; working from serviced offices Mayfair, he spots interesting business related stories and shares them.