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Anzu Becomes Exclusive In-Game AdTech Provider for Saber Interactive’s Upcoming Dakar Desert Rally

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Anzu Becomes Exclusive In-Game AdTech Provider for Saber Interactive’s Upcoming Dakar Desert Rally
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Anzu and Saber Interactive partner to bring advertisers into the highly anticipated Dakar Desert Rally when it launches this year on PC and consoles

In-game advertising company Anzu has secured an exclusive deal with Saber Interactive, the global game publisher and developer, to offer advertisers a chance to communicate with their audiences via the highly anticipated upcoming racer Dakar Desert Rally.

The new AAA title is the official game of Dakar Rally, the largest rally race on the planet, hosted by the Amaury Sport Organisation and broadcast each year across 70 TV channels in 190 countries. 1,065 drivers and 578 vehicles took part in 2021’s race, and clips of the rally have been viewed online by over 59.8M people, with an additional 76.8M Facebook and Instagram story views.

Fans worldwide have been anticipating news of a new official Dakar rally video game title. This past December, Saber Interactive revealed that the title would launch in 2022 and feature an enhanced Dakar rally experience with over 30 stages of full rally racing, an immense open world with seasons and dynamic weather, official road books to navigate, and a garage stocked with licensed vehicles, including motorcycles, cars, trucks, quads, and SSVs.

The game’s development team is committed to creating an immersive game experience that faithfully brings the Dakar Rally to gamers. Anzu is helping the team replicate that; advertisers will be able to run their banner and video ads within Anzu’s in-game ad placements, which will take the form of 3D objects like roadside billboards and banners. They will also be able to take advantage of a variety of custom integration options, including custom vehicles which can be painted with brand colors, logos, and even have the driver wear a custom uniform. There are also options for roadside flags that can be branded with a product logo and different colors, and garage takeovers, where brands can add custom wall banners and items to decorate the building.

The non-disruptive nature and expert optimization of Anzu’s ad placements also mean brands will benefit from extremely high engagement rates without disrupting the player experience. Advertisers will also benefit from the low fraud rates associated with in-game advertising. HUMAN reports that Anzu’s IVT score for mobile is 0.16% and for PC is 0.47%. Comscore also reports a 0.39% score for video and 0.44% for display campaigns, compared to a 6% benchmark. Anzu also works with other industry leaders to measure ad viewability, fraud levels, and brand impact.

Alex Yerukhimovich, VP Games, Anzu, said: “We’ve been working closely with Saber Interactive to ensure our ad placements are perfectly positioned to enhance both the player and advertising experience. This is a great opportunity for advertisers to showcase their campaigns in a visually stunning AAA title, and for players to experience races with real ads that are relevant to the setting alongside the track. Just like they would expect to see if they were watching a real race, making the experience all the more authentic.
More and more advertisers are making in-game advertising a larger part of their digital ad strategies. As the anticipation continues to grow around this title, we’re looking forward to bringing many into the Dakar experience to reach its millions of diverse and dedicated fans who stretch across the entire globe.”

Our Saber Porto team has been passionately working on Dakar Desert Rally and is focused on making this one of the biggest and most authentic rally racing games ever,” said Todd Hollenshead, Head of Publishing at Saber Interactive. “Our goal is to bring Dakar to life in a realistic and fun way, and it’s been great to see that passion mirrored by the talented team at Anzu through their industry-leading technology and expertise. We’re working closely together to ensure these ads are implemented in a way that is immersive and serve to help faithfully recreate the real-life rally experience.”

Gaming

How game studios can avoid common network and infrastructure issues

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How game studios can avoid common network and infrastructure issues
Reading Time: 4 minutes

 

Mathieu Duperré, CEO and Founder of Edgegap

It’s common for video game developers to launch a day-one patch for new releases after their games have gone gold. The growing size of video games means it’s inevitable that some bugs will be missed during the QA period and go unnoticed until the game is in players’ hands.

Some of the most common issues experienced by game developers at launch are related to network and infrastructure, such as the connection issues causing chaos in Overwatch 2 and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, as some players experience issues connecting to matches. And while there’s no way of eliminating lag, latency and disconnects from multiplayer games, developers can minimize the chances of them occurring and the disruption they cause by following a few simple steps.

 

Plan for the worst, expect the best

For many video game developers, the best-case scenario for the launch of their game – that it’s a huge hit and far more people end up playing it than they expected – can also be the worst-case scenario for infrastructure-related issues. An influx of too many players can lead to severe bottlenecking, resulting in lag and connectivity issues. In a worst-case scenario, servers become overloaded and stop responding to requests, usually leaving players unable to connect to online matchmaking.

Another worst-case scenario is planning for big numbers at launch and building the necessary infrastructure to support this, only for your game to launch and have nowhere near the traffic you were expecting. Not only is this a big problem for your bottom line, but things can get worse if you rush your search for an infrastructure provider and forget to read through the T&Cs properly.

Some infrastructure suppliers will onboard new studios on a fixed contract, not letting them scale back if they’ve overprovisioned their servers. Some infrastructure providers offer a lot of free credits, to begin with, only for those credits to expire after the first few months. Game studios then discover they’re responsible for fronting the cost of network traffic, load balancers, clusters, API calls, and many more products they had yet to consider.

With that in mind, try not to sign up for long-term agreements that don’t offer flexibility for scaling up or down. Your server setup has a lot to gain by being flexible, and your server requirements will likely change in the weeks following launch as you get a better idea of your player base; under-utilized servers are a waste of money and resources.

 

Test, test, and test again

You haven’t tested your online matchmaking properly if you’ve tested your servers under the strain of 1000 players, but you’re expecting 10,000 or 100,000 at launch. Your load tests are an essential part of planning for the worst-case scenario, and you should test your network under the same strain as if you suddenly experienced a burst in players.

Load testing is important because you’ll inevitably encounter infrastructure issues as your network comes under strain. Still, it’s only by facing those issues that you can identify them and plan for them accordingly once your game launches.

Similarly, you want to test your game in as many different locations as possible because there’s no way of telling where your traffic will be coming from. We’ve had cases where studios released a very popular game overnight in Chile but needed data centers. Thankfully, you can mitigate issues such as these by leveraging edge computing providers to reduce the distance between your players and the point of connection.

Consider the specific infrastructure needs of your game’s genre

Casual games with an optional multiplayer component will have a completely different network requirement to MMORPGs, with thousands of players connected to a centralized world. Similarly, a first-person-shooter with 64-player matchmaking will have a different network requirement than a side-scrolling beat ’em up or fighting game, which often requires custom netcodes due to the fast-paced nature of the combat.

People outside the video game industry assume all video games have similar payloads, but different game genres are as technically different in terms of infrastructure requirements as specific applications.

With that in mind, it’s essential for game studios, especially smaller ones, to regularly communicate with infrastructure partners and ensure they’ve got a thorough understanding of how the multiplayer components of your game will work. A decent infrastructure provider will be able to work with you to not only ensure load testing is carried out correctly but also help diagnose any broader issues.

Too many tools and not enough resources to use them

One thing that large network providers are very good at providing is tools, but these are often complex and require specific knowledge and understanding. It’s worth noting that large game studios have dedicated teams of engineers to manage these tools for AAA games with millions of players.

Smaller studios need to be realistic about the number of players they expect for new game releases and their internal resources to manage network and infrastructure-related issues and queries. You should partner with a provider that can handle all of this, so your studio can focus on making the best game possible. The more automation you can plan into your DevOps methodology, the better!

 

Takeaways for small game studios

While game studios likely encounter many issues as part of their game development journey, working these three pieces of advice into your DevOps pipeline is a sure way of minimizing infrastructure-related headaches.

Don’t reinvent the wheel – We’ve seen many studios trying to build bespoke systems rather than automate and use what’s already out there. If you can develop your netcode, engine and manage your Kubernetes, that’s great! But is it necessary, or is building these things from scratch just going to create trouble further down the line?

Understand your workflows – Plan for everything, use tech-agnostic vendors to remain flexible, get real-time visibility and logs for your matchmaking traffic, and have a 24/7 support plan for when your game is live. The more potential problems you’re aware of, the better.

Load testing your game – Build tiny tools and scripts to generate as much traffic as you can, breaking your system as often as possible.

 

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Cryptocurrency

BetGames Will Start Accepting Fasttoken (FTN) as a Supported Cryptocurrency

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BetConstruct is pleased to announce that BetGames, the leading provider of premium gaming solutions, is planning to add FTN to the list of supported cryptocurrencies.

FTN is the official cryptocurrency of the Fastex ecosystem as well as the adopted cryptocurrency of the leading betting and gaming software provider BetConstruct.

The inclusion of FTN in BetGames’s supported cryptocurrencies will start from January 26th.

To learn more details about FTN, feel free to visit the website www. fasttoken .com.

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Gaming

Game Wave Festival invites everyone to watch the live broadcast of Nordic Game Discovery Contest Grand Finals!

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Game Wave Festival invites everyone to watch the live broadcast of Nordic Game Discovery Contest Grand Finals!
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Game Wave Festival announces that it will broadcast Nordic Game Discovery Contest (NGDC) Grand Finals November 28 at 19:00 – EET (18:00). Everyone can join for free on Nordic Game Vimeo channel and Game Wave Festival YouTube channel.

Three days left to the Game Wave Festival and those who are not in the travel mood, can join online sessions as well as have the opportunity for one-on-one meetings. Register with Black Friday 30% off promo code (WHITEFRIDAY) at https://www.gamewave.eu/ and meet 35+ speakers who will share the knowledge on various gaming industry relevant topics.

In addition to that, on-site and online participants will be able to join Panel Discussions, Workshops and Nordic Game Discovery Contest Grand Finals. Right after NGDC Grand Finals kicks off the Game Night – Open Microphone event. Everyone will have a chance to go in front and present a game, service or talk about actual topics! See the full agenda here: https://www.gamewave.eu/agenda

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