Pocket Gems: Pioneering mobile games and entertainment

About Pocket Gems

Pocket Gems was founded in San Francisco in 2009. Since recognizing the potential of mobile games early, its titles have been downloaded more than 300 million times across iOS and Android.

Industries: Media & Entertainment
Location: United States

By using Google Cloud Platform for scalable infrastructure, Pocket Gems can support hundreds of thousands of synchronous mobile gamers and help ensure games resonate with players.

Google Cloud Platform Results

  • War Dragons became one of the top-grossing games in the iTunes App Store
  • War Dragons creates a positive gaming experience and has resulted in highly favorable reviews and a very dedicated player community
  • Helped Pocket Gems become a pioneer in real-time mobile gameplay

More than 300 million mobile game downloads across titles

The fast-changing mobile game industry can be fickle—companies must anticipate the newest trends and take advantage of them to keep players engaged. The first wave of mobile games brought single player games connected to the cloud. Pocket Gems believed it spotted the next wave: collaborative mobile games involving online communities, built from the ground up on cloud infrastructure.

“We think the leading mobile games in the future will require technologies that allow for synchronous play on mobile devices,” says Harlan Crystal, Co-Founder and CTO of Pocket Gems. “The next generation of mobile games will take advantage of cloud technology and the ubiquitous connections of mobile networks. Really creative things are going to come out of it.”

“Great games are fun for a diverse group of players. Google Cloud Platform enables us to better understand our players’ varied interests and create the best experiences for them.”

David Underhill, VP Engineering, Pocket Gems

Next generation mobile games

Pocket Gems wanted to stay on the cutting edge of the mobile games market by creating the next generation of mobile games—synchronous, multiplayer, collaborative titles leveraging the cloud. To bring this idea to life, Pocket Games built War Dragons, a mobile, multidata-player game with a strong social component. The company chose Google App Engine for scalable infrastructure that supports hundreds of thousands of simultaneous users and tools for managing the backend required to keep the game running.

“Collaborative games have more depth, as well as human interaction that add a whole new layer of enjoyment,” says Harlan. “Someone’s going to make games involving all of those things because that’s what gamers will prefer. We want to be that company.”

A dynamic engine for a young industry

To achieve the team’s ambitious vision, War Dragons had to support synchronous multiplayer gameplay and scale seamlessly as users joined.

“Google App Engine lets us focus on building games our players love,” says David Underhill, VP Engineering, Pocket Gems. “We can keep our games highly available and scale on a moment’s notice without worrying about server infrastructure.”

“Thanks to Google Cloud Platform, we’re in a good position to create what’s next for players. There’s still a lot of creativity to unleash, and we’re sure that Google will help us do it.”

Harlan Crystal, Co-Founder and CTO, Pocket Gems

Developing successful games requires constant iterations of seeing what works and what doesn’t, and then altering the game to reflect that. Pocket Gems needs to figure out if a feature of a game resonates with players, and using Google Cloud Platform for A/B testing and comparing user metrics helps the company move in that direction. That testing is at the core of another of Pocket Gems’ goals for War Dragons: to build a game that is customized for individual players, rather than one-size-fits-all.

“Great games are fun for a diverse group of players,” says David. “Google Cloud Platform enables us to better understand our players’ varied interests and create the best experiences for them.”

Building what’s next

With the launch of War Dragons, Pocket Gems has established itself as a pioneer in collaborative, multiplayer mobile games. Shortly after its launch in April 2015, War Dragons became one of the top-grossing games in the iTunes App Store. It has created positive gaming experiences, resulting in highly favorable customer reviews in iTunes. Pocket Gems has also positioned itself well for the future, using Google technologies to stay at the forefront of mobile gaming.

“Thanks to Google Cloud Platform, we’re in a good position to create what’s next for players,” adds Harlan. “There’s still a lot of creativity that needs to be unleashed, and we’re sure that Google will help us do it.”

About Pocket Gems

Pocket Gems was founded in San Francisco in 2009. Since recognizing the potential of mobile games early, its titles have been downloaded more than 300 million times across iOS and Android.

Industries: Media & Entertainment
Location: United States
Google Cloud Platform logo

12 Months FREE TRIAL

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

TRY IT FREE
Google Cloud Platform logo

12 Months FREE TRIAL

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

TRY IT FREE