GreedyGame: Delivering native advertising for mobile games

About GreedyGame

Founded in 2015 and headquartered in India, GreedyGame provides native advertising for mobile games.

Industries: Media & Entertainment
Location: India

About Searce

Headquartered in India, Searce creates engaging software products, improves business processes, and delivers high-performance outcomes for clients.

Using Google Cloud Platform, GreedyGame has grown to accommodate 3 million ad requests per day while controlling costs by optimising its infrastructure requirements.

Google Cloud Results

  • Delivered mobile game advertising response times of about 500 milliseconds
  • Scaled to support demand peaks of 10 times normal traffic levels
  • Recorded no downtime since migrating from another cloud platform

Team of 30 delivers ads to 100+ games in 2.5 years

Founded in 2015 and headquartered in India, GreedyGame provides native advertising for mobile games. “The current way that gaming and online content generally is monetised is very intrusive and almost kills user engagement, leading to very low retention rates,” explains Arink Verma, Co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer, GreedyGame. “So when we founded GreedyGame, we opted to use content-driven, in-game advertising rather than banner or interstitial advertising. For example, in a mobile football game, the publisher can monetise the players’ jerseys, the ball, and the stadium in much the same way as teams and other commercial participants do in real life.”

This model is delivering considerable success for the fledgling business. GreedyGame has a team of 30 employees, 20 of whom contribute to product development and the remainder to sales and business development. Live on more than 100 games, GreedyGame manages about 3 million ad requests daily.

Launching on the cloud proved to be a no-brainer for the business. “The biggest challenge of any global advertising network is availability and distribution, so running our own physical servers is not an option,” Verma says. “Furthermore, as we started out with just two team members, we wanted to focus on innovation rather than activities such as managing infrastructure.”

“Our evaluation found that Google Cloud Platform could provide services that related directly to our core business and we saw an opportunity to outsource those activities that could distract from our purpose.”

Arink Verma, Co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer, GreedyGame

GreedyGame launched onto a public cloud service with a minimal viable product that Verma describes as “a few static files on a content delivery network.” However, as the business matured, its advertising targeting and content delivery needs became more sophisticated. Verma began reviewing cloud platforms more aligned to these requirements.

“Our evaluation found that Google Cloud Platform could provide services that related directly to our core business and we saw an opportunity to outsource those activities that could distract from our purpose,” he says.

Google Cloud Platform (GCP) also supported a microservices architecture that would enable GreedyGame to meet game publishers’ strict performance and availability requirements. Furthermore, the company’s review determined GCP could support demand peaks–sparked typically by the international cricket series or similar sporting events–that could increase traffic to up to 10 times normal levels without compromising the delivery of advertising.

GreedyGame elected to move to GCP and its internal team completed its initial migration to the cloud platform. However, GreedyGame realised it needed external assistance to access the full range of GCP products that could deliver value to its business. GreedyGame then engaged Indian-headquartered business process specialist Searce to optimise its architecture. Searce encouraged GreedyGame to use GCP products that would enable the mobile game advertising business to run a highly available, responsive, and targeted advertising network.

These products, including Google BigQuery as a data analytics warehouse, Google Cloud Vision API, an image content analysis tool, and Google Compute Engine, “only came to light through the partner,” Verma acknowledges.

“Google Cloud Platform has enabled us to emerge as a lean, efficient mobile game advertising provider with an advertising fill rate of 70%, which is above the industry standard of 50%, due primarily to our lack of downtime.”

Arink Verma, Co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer, GreedyGame

GreedyGame is now using Google BigQuery to store data and make it accessible to team members as needed. Google Compute Engine provides infrastructure resources as a service while Google Cloud Vision API enables GreedyGame to classify images and filter out any that may be undesirable.

Searce also helped GreedyGame provide billing services in Indian rupees and provides ongoing assistance in validating business cases for the use of GCP products.

“Our audience is largely gamers and they are very sensitive about the advertising they are looking at,” Verma says. “So it’s our responsibility to ensure advertisements do not impede the game environment or breach standards around violence, nudity, or gambling.”

GreedyGame also uses Google Stackdriver to provide monitoring, logging, and diagnostics for its advertising network. “We can monitor activities such as where traffic is going and which virtual machines are or aren’t working from a single dashboard,” Verma says. Combined with other GCP products, Google Stackdriver also eliminates the need for GreedyGame to hire infrastructure specialists. “We don’t need an internal team to optimise infrastructure performance,” Verma says.

Advertisement delivery times well ahead of competitors

Thanks to GCP, the average time GreedyGame takes to deliver an advertisement within a mobile game is 500 milliseconds, which is well ahead of the company’s competitors. Furthermore, customers of GreedyGame have not experienced any downtime since the business completed its migration.

“Google Cloud Platform has enabled us to emerge as a lean, efficient mobile game advertising provider with an advertising fill rate of 70%, which is above the industry standard of 50%, due primarily to our lack of downtime,” Verma says.

Virtual machine instance numbers reduced from 200 to 100

GreedyGame can now control its costs despite delivering multiple services from more than 100 virtual machine instances. “One feature Searce revealed to us was the ability to predict usage and cost of every instance we use,” Verma says. “That feature has enabled us to cut our number of instances from 200 to 100 and keep our platform costs very low relative to other advertising networks.” GreedyGame is now accommodating 3 million ad requests per day with no API downtime, while GCP has scaled comfortably to support demand peaks that drive up traffic tenfold.

With high confidence in its platform and product, GreedyGame is now looking at delivering new services to meet the needs of game publishers.

About GreedyGame

Founded in 2015 and headquartered in India, GreedyGame provides native advertising for mobile games.

Industries: Media & Entertainment
Location: India

About Searce

Headquartered in India, Searce creates engaging software products, improves business processes, and delivers high-performance outcomes for clients.

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