High 5 Games: Playing to win with Google Cloud Platform

About High 5 Games

High 5 Games is a premier content solutions company for the free-to-play and real money casino industries. Developing for the land-based, online, social, and mobile markets, High 5 Games has created more than 450 games that are played throughout the world.

Industries: Gaming
Location: United States

About Rubrik

Rubrik delivers a single platform to manage and protect data in the cloud, at the edge, and on-premises. Enterprises choose Rubrik’s Cloud Data Management software to simplify backup and recovery, accelerate cloud adoption, and enable automation at scale. Rubrik’s run-anywhere, scale-out architecture is built to empower IT departments today, and in the future, reducing total cost of ownership while enabling infrastructure flexibility for a multi-cloud world.

High 5 Games moved from a managed cloud provider to Google Cloud Platform, meeting the business expectations and helping drive double-digit revenue increases while reducing infrastructure costs by more than 20% a year.

Google Cloud Results

  • Empowers High 5 Games to achieve improved player experiences and effective LiveOps, driving double-digit revenue increases
  • Results in high gaming systems availability while reducing latency
  • Improves effectiveness of High 5 Games’ LiveOps systems through GCP services such as Google BigQuery and Cloud Dataflow and rapid adoption of machine-learning-powered solutions
  • Helps streamline entrance into new markets by satisfying regulatory requirements
  • Reduces infrastructure costs by more than 20% a year

Doing twice as much and paying half

High 5 Games creates innovative games and patented Math Models for the casino industry, with many well-known slot titles such as Da Vinci Diamonds, Golden Goddess, Dangerous Beauty, Shadow of the Panther, Cats, Jaguar Princess, and Black Widow. Developing for all platforms and accepted formats, High 5 Games operates the highest rated social casino on Facebook, with nearly 2 million monthly players from almost every country in the world.

Technology plays a crucial role in gaming, empowering High 5 Games to gain market share or enter new markets. Ultimately, no matter how innovative game ideas are, if games cannot be delivered in a stable and highly available environment, there isn’t a viable product. Gamers leave quickly if they experience downtime or poor performance, and many don’t come back.

“Our products and success depend so much on quality of delivery. Google Cloud Platform gives us best-in-class infrastructure and managed services to roll out our global gaming platform in a highly available, more secure manner.”

Oleg Simonov, VP of Technology, High 5 Games

Facing increased competitive pressure, High 5 Games’ leadership challenged the technology team with achieving best-in-class systems availability, quality, and operational flexibility. With revenue at stake, High 5 Games turned to Google Cloud Platform (GCP) as the driver behind the transformation. Google provided engineering suggestions and expert advice, helping High 5 Games make a smooth transition and deliver on the stability and quality goals within six months of launching in GCP.

“Our products and success depend so much on quality of delivery,” says Oleg Simonov, Vice President of Technology at High 5 Games. “Google Cloud Platform gives us best-in-class infrastructure and managed services to roll out our global gaming platform in a highly available, more secure manner.”

Automated data management from on-premises to cloud

High 5 Games also used an automated policy engine from Rubrik, a Google Cloud Partner, to easily manage global service-level agreements, making backup and recovery simple and intuitive. In evaluating Rubrik and GCP, Oleg was impressed by the partnership between the two companies.

“Together, Rubrik and GCP provide an onramp to the cloud that will help us reduce overhead and focus on innovation,” he says. “Both Google and Rubrik are fast-moving market disruptors, and both are fundamental to our cloud strategy.”

“Moving to rolling deployments using Google Kubernetes Engine saves us approximately $300,000 a year due to elimination of release downtime. Our annual revenue grew by approximately 12% the last two years in large part because of increased stability — and we couldn’t have done it without Google Cloud Platform.

Oleg Simonov, VP of Technology, High 5 Games

No gambling on uptime

With the move to GCP, High 5 Games began using Google Kubernetes Engine to deploy containerized applications with zero downtime and automate cloud infrastructure management, scaling, and repair. With the ability to update production code in seconds and scale in minutes to meet any demand, capacity planning is no longer a gamble. In addition, infrastructure costs are reduced by more than 20% a year.

“Moving to rolling deployments using Kubernetes Engine saves us approximately $300,000 a year due to elimination of release downtime,” says Oleg. “Our annual revenue grew by approximately 12% the last two years in large part because of increased stability — and we couldn’t have done it without Google Cloud Platform.”

“Within three weeks of moving to Google Cloud Platform, we had an analytics platform that transformed the business. BigQuery allowed us to do something that we had wanted to do for years: make real-time decisions using product telemetry we collect.”

Oleg Simonov, VP of Technology, High 5 Games

Better gaming experiences

High 5 Games collects a wealth of real-time telemetry during gameplay. Prior to GCP, High 5 Games' systems struggled to keep up with the explosive growth of data and provide support for real-time analysis that modern LiveOps capabilities demand. Today, the company uses integrated managed services in GCP for real-time analytics. Event streams are ingested by Cloud Pub/Sub, which passes the data stream to Cloud Dataflow for processing. Finally, Google BigQuery enables real-time analysis of gaming data. In addition to providing fast time to market, this serverless approach to real-time analytics is almost infinitely scalable.

“Within three weeks of moving to Google Cloud Platform, we had an analytics platform that transformed the business,” says Oleg. “Google BigQuery allowed us to do something that we had wanted to do for years: make real-time decisions using product telemetry we collect.”

With full insight into its product data, High 5 Games is moving rapidly to translate it into a tangible LiveOps impact. The first models based on TensorFlow are now being deployed in conjunction with real-time Cloud Dataflow engines to offer just-in-time games recommendations, customized promotions, and challenges to gamers, increasing player engagement and in-app personalization.

“The data analytics pipeline we built using Cloud Pub/Sub, Cloud Dataflow, and Google BigQuery is helping us drive up to 10% additional revenue by improving player experiences,” says Oleg. “Gaming performance has also improved thanks to the low-latency Google network, and we never worry about throughput with Google Cloud managed services.”

Easier management and monitoring

Although multiple engineers help manage High 5 Games’ environment on GCP, the total time spent is only approximately 1.5 full-time equivalent (FTE). Engineers use Stackdriver for logging along with a cloud-based monitoring and analytics platform from Datadog, a Google Cloud partner.

“Google Cloud Platform makes our operations very straightforward,” says Oleg. “We don’t spend a lot of time supporting or monitoring it. It offers excellent transparency into the operational state of every engine, making it a breeze to do root cause analysis or review operational metrics when needed. It freed up our engineers to concentrate on projects. We’re saving at least four FTEs in total management time, now reallocated to new business initiatives and revenue streams.”

Pushing the boundaries

Soon High 5 Games plans to explore other Google Cloud offerings, such as using Cloud AI tools to change gaming experiences on-the-fly based on player behavior. It also plans to move collaboration to the cloud and is evaluating
G Suite to improve productivity and potentially save more than $100,000 a year.

“We’re paying half of what we used to pay our previous cloud provider, and we’re doing twice as much.”

Oleg Simonov, VP of Technology, High 5 Games

With a stable, modern cloud platform, High 5 Games can continue to push the boundaries of casino gaming. As it moves into new markets such as real-money gaming in Europe, hosting on GCP will make it easier for the company to acquire the necessary licenses and satisfy regulatory requirements such as General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

“Moving to Google Cloud Platform was the best decision we could have made, allowing us to stay on the cutting edge of technology and drive our business forward,” says Oleg. “With Google Cloud Platform, we’re paying half of what we used to pay our previous cloud provider, and we’re doing twice as much.”

About High 5 Games

High 5 Games is a premier content solutions company for the free-to-play and real money casino industries. Developing for the land-based, online, social, and mobile markets, High 5 Games has created more than 450 games that are played throughout the world.

Industries: Gaming
Location: United States

About Rubrik

Rubrik delivers a single platform to manage and protect data in the cloud, at the edge, and on-premises. Enterprises choose Rubrik’s Cloud Data Management software to simplify backup and recovery, accelerate cloud adoption, and enable automation at scale. Rubrik’s run-anywhere, scale-out architecture is built to empower IT departments today, and in the future, reducing total cost of ownership while enabling infrastructure flexibility for a multi-cloud world.

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12 Months FREE TRIAL

Try Kubernetes Engine, BigQuery, and other Cloud Platform products with $300 in free credit and 12 months.

TRY IT FREE