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Bidstack & Xaxis partner to provide brands with enhanced global portfolio of innovative in-game advertising solutions

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Bidstack & Xaxis partner to provide brands with enhanced global portfolio of innovative in-game advertising solutions
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Bidstack is delighted to announce a new partnership with Xaxis, GroupM’s outcome media specialist.

The partnership enables Xaxis to access Bidstack’s extensive portfolio of seamless in-game ad formats and branded experiences. It also provides Xaxis with access to Bidstack’s global supply of programmatic inventory which features 70+ exclusive titles including Dirt 5, Football Manager 2022, and Top Eleven. The inventory is available across mobile, PC, cloud gaming and VR formats, with additional supply for console being added in the coming months.

In 2021, Xaxis expanded its portfolio of innovative, omnichannel media solutions to include a full suite of gaming products. The partnership with Bidstack further bolsters Xaxis’s ability to engage the growing, diverse, worldwide gaming audience through immersive, innovative, and effective content.

2021 was a breakout year for in-game advertising with the format becoming an established part of media plans for advertisers across the industry. The trend towards gaming was accelerated in part by the pandemic, with average playing times increasing by 14% globally and gamers across all age groups displaying a clear preference for playing games over watching TV shows and movies, according to research from Limelight Networks.

2022 is anticipated to be another important year for gaming, with in-game advertising gaining significant traction among advertising industry bodies such as the IAB (Interactive Advertising Bureau) and updated measurement standards set to be introduced by the MRC (Media Rating Council), making campaign success easier to measure for advertisers.

Regarding the new partnership, Lewis Sherlock, SVP Programmatic at Bidstack said, “We are really proud to be working with one of the most respected names in the industry in Xaxis. The partnership is great news for Bidstack and is the culmination of around two years of groundwork from myself and the team. We are looking forward to scaling brand investment into a number of markets in the next few years and to work alongside Xaxis to deliver immersive branded experiences in-game for their clients.”

Julia Rast, Senior Manager, Global Solutions & Innovation at Xaxis added, “Developing a programmatic in-game product has been an exciting journey. Understanding the uniqueness and novelties of this type of media while answering the needs of our agencies and clients has been both challenging and rewarding. We’re confident that the partnership with Bidstack will allow us to further develop sustainable and impactful solutions that lead to stronger business outcomes for our clients.”

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
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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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