Better Collective Releases its Annual Report for 2022

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Better Collective has released its annual report for the 2022 financial year.

In the report, the company reported total revenue growth of 52%, amounting to €269m ($292m), with organic growth totalling 34%. Recurring revenue accounted for 46% of total revenue and grew 54% to a total of €123m.

On 23 March 2022, Better Collective also acquired the full assets of the media company, Canada Sports Betting, for €21m. The company also acquired Futbin on 19 April for €105m and aims to make further partnerships through this brand in the esports scene.

Better Collective reported sending 1.7 million new depositing customers to its partners in 2022, of which 76% of these were on revenue share contracts. Out of these, 580,000 were sent during Q4, and just under 300,000 were during the World Cup.

The report also stated that the $100m target of revenue for Action Network was reached in US markets. The financial targets for 2023 include total revenue of €300m, with an EBITDA of €100m.

The company also announced its long-term financial targets, up to 2027. These include a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 20% and an EBITDA margin excluding special items of 30-40%. The final long-term goal of Better Collective is to ensure any future mergers and acquisitions can be financed by their own cash flow.

Better Collective began 2023 with just under 40% reported growth, due to the launch of online sports betting in Ohio.

Two partnerships were also announced in early 2023, with sports media sites Goal and Wirtualna Polska.


The Mill Adventure Appoints Lukasz Dziedzia as CTO

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Platform and white label solutions provider The Mill Adventure has appointed Łukasz Dziedzia as its new chief technology officer (CTO).

Dziedzia brings more than 15 years of software development experience into his new role which entails defining The Mill Adventure’s technology vision and strategy. As CTO, he will manage and lead the process optimisation for the tech team, as well as promote the company’s agenda for technology and innovation internally and externally.

“The Mill Adventure is a unique company where talent, technical excellence, and passion for innovation meet. I am truly honored to have this opportunity and responsibility as the company grows and faces new challenges. I look forward to helping the company continue its mission of bringing innovation to the industry,” Dziedzia said.

Dziedzia joined The Mill Adventure in 2019 as a senior software engineer and was among the project leads for the development of SmartLobbies and Betpool — features that pioneered smarter, more strategic approaches to iGaming operations and player experiences through advances such as artificial intelligence.

“I am extremely happy with this appointment. When it comes to inventing and innovating, Lukasz’s vision is only matched by his ability to connect people and processes. Naming him our new CTO underscores our commitment to building on our reputation for developing cutting-edge solutions and designing a better foundation for the industry,” Dario Arruda, CEO of Mill Adventure, said.


Why is iGaming one of the most promising niches for a job seeker today?

Reading Time: 8 minutes


As of 2023, gambling is considered one of the most popular areas of online marketing. All over the world, the attitude towards the vertical of gambling, as well as towards online casinos, is changing due to many factors, the most important of which is the recognition by many countries of the legality of this way of earning.

In this article, we’ll be discussing why working with a gambling vertical is so profitable and popular on the market. We’ll also discuss why you shouldn’t be afraid to try your hand at working with an online casino.

Online casinos emerge from the shadows

Today, more and more countries are inclined to believe that the legalisation of casinos is more beneficial for the economy than a complete ban. Shady gambling not only deprives players of the protection of the law and provokes the development of crime, but also deprives the treasury of additional income through tax deductions.

Therefore, even conservative countries such as Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan, distinguished by historically strict morals, have adopted a law on the legalisation of online casinos as of 2022.

The following countries are where online casinos are not restricted by law:

  • Albania
  • Malta
  • Andorra
  • Faroe islands
  • Kosovo
  • Liechtenstein
  • Belarus
  • Isle of Man
  • Gibraltar

By 2020, the number of online casinos had grown from 45% to 60%, a number which, according to many forecasts, will continue to grow. This is due to the fact that it has become easier for operators to obtain a licence and play openly than to hide and constantly create new mirrors for the site. More importantly, it can now be done legally.

The popularity of gambling in numbers

The online casino market was formed 5 to 7 years ago and is considered one of the youngest areas of online marketing. According to, about 85% of American adults have played at online casinos at least once in their lives. Almost 26% (1.8 billion) of the world’s population gamble regularly, and roughly 5 billion do it at least once a year.

The 2021 report of the European Gambling and Betting Association states that almost 62% of Europeans have wagered on something during the year, the vast majority doing so at online casinos. In 2021 alone, online casino revenue in the United States amounted to $53 billion, once again proving the massive popularity of the gambling industry.

Gambling is popular not only in Europe, but also in African countries. South Africa, Nigeria, and Kenya are considered the market leaders on the continent.

Reports from the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) show strong online engagement rates that have continued to rise since the pandemic. It was then that a sharp jump in the popularity of the industry as a whole was recorded. As of 2022, the European online gambling market was 67% of the global one.

According to The Gazette and The Herald, online gambling accounts for 38.8% ($3.4 million) of total gambling revenue in the country. This trend is closely related to the decrease in the popularity of land-based casinos and gambling establishments.

The profit from the online segment in 2021 exceeded $180 billion. Games with elements of augmented reality and improved graphics were especially popular. Advanced gamers trust operators more with the ability to replenish their personal account from the balance of a crypto wallet, proving that online casinos are developing in accordance with current market trends.

Reasons for the development and popularisation of gambling

  • Emergence of new regions available for work

Many online marketers contemplating trying their hand at online casino promotion have been intimidated by the amount of upfront costs to enter the vertical. Those regions where promotion is considered the most profitable are distinguished by high rates and, as a result, great competition. The legalisation of casinos in individual countries has provoked the emergence of new countries available for promotion.

Gambling payouts are not tied to the local currency, allowing you to earn money anywhere in the world. Simultaneously, a wide selection of countries and detailed analytics from partner networks help you master new regions and contribute to successful work with them.

  • The reality of winning

Contrary to the common misconception that the probability of winning in online slots is extremely small, licensed online casinos are distinguished by a high level of RTP – “return to the player”.

The RTP determines how many bets a player will need in order to return the initial budget in case of a long game. If the RTP is 100%, it means that the chances of winning are equal to the chances of losing funds. The average RTP of licensed online casinos fluctuates around 96% and drops below with rare exceptions.

  • Safe gambling

In countries where online casinos are legalised or partially legalised, a licence is required to conduct gambling activities. It allows special commissions to control gambling activities and protect the rights of players on an international level. Licensed online casinos are mistakenly considered as representatives of the grey market. Like any business, they are interested in their players being satisfied with the quality of the services provided, and are therefore focused on cooperation in the long term.

With the advent of legal online casinos, the term “responsible gambling” has become established. The concept of responsible gambling for online casinos means providing access to gambling, including interaction with regulatory authorities in resolving conflict situations. For players, this guarantees the conscientious fulfilment of the obligations undertaken to protect their rights on the part of the operator. In the event of situations that violate the principles of responsible gambling, the online casino licence may be revoked.

  • Access to stock exchanges

Every company seeks to attract investors to help develop their business, and the most profitable scaling option is the issuance of shares for circulation on the stock exchange. In the future, trading in brand shares will allow companies to attract the attention of investors and funds for further development.

The IPO process is quite financially expensive. However, with a successful placement of shares, organisations are attracting large sums that contribute to their rapid development in the market. Many casinos have successfully put into circulation the shares of their companies and are continuing to develop. The IPO once again emphasises the legal side of the gambling direction.

  • Growing interest in a merger from large corporations

This market development is also proven by the number of M&A transactions in the gambling segment.

At the beginning of 2022, experts said that, as interest rates rise and European economies deteriorate, M&A in the gambling industry would slow down. Today, however, we can see a continuous growth in the activity of these transactions.

The EY Global Consulting report of the first half of 2022 speaks about the sustainability of the global mergers and acquisitions market. Although peak transaction activity fell by 27%, compared to the same period in 2021, it still grew by 35% over the previous 2015-2019 cycle. As of September 2022, more than 2,274 transactions totaling about $2.02 trillion were concluded in the world. At the same time, the technology sector dominated by almost a third.

In early 2022, one of the world’s leading gaming companies, 888 Holdings, which includes brands such as 888, SI Sportsbook, and Mr Green, announced the closing of a deal to acquire William Hill’s non-US assets from Caesars Entertainment in the amount of €2.25 billion, an amount which is not considered a limit. In the middle of the year, the American company, Scientific Games (renamed Light & Wonder) completed the sale of its lottery business to Brookfield Business Partners for a whopping €5.7 billion. Such amounts indicate the scale of the direction, as well as the openness and legal side of doing business

Reasons for the development of gambling as a trend in online marketing

Another trend in the online casino market in 2022 was an increase in the average bet size. The increase in rates began during the pandemic, when the gambling industry experienced a sharp jump in popularity among players.

Despite the fact that the Coronavirus has disappeared from the media field, an increase in the average bet size is still observed today. The average remuneration has increased in direct proportion to the growth of rates. Given the fact that, when working with the gambling vertical, earnings directly depend on the amount of deposits of attracted users, this had a positive effect on the direction as a whole.

  • Development of mobile traffic

The development of mobile traffic has been occurring over the past decade. While the lion’s share of the market previously fell on PC users, and browser games confidently occupied the tops, today, more and more players are using mobile applications. There are now many applications for gadgets on the market that allow you to play wherever and whenever it suits you.

In 2020, about 55% of users used mobile devices to play games. Compared to previous years, the impact of mobile traffic on gambling is much stronger. There are new ways to promote applications and measure user behaviour to retain it.

  • Implementation of blockchain technologies

The introduction of cryptocurrency as an additional payment method has had a positive impact on increasing the level of attention to the industry from those who store funds in digital currency. The replenishment procedure is not subject to commission for withdrawal and replenishment of funds to the balance of the wallet, and also simplifies the process itself.

Many gamblers who kept their currency in crypto, or played in digital currency markets in addition to slots, now easily replenish their accounts at popular online casinos, which increases the overall amount of traffic. For affiliate marketing representatives, this is an additional trigger that can be used when building a promotion strategy.


The gambling industry continues to evolve. New GEOs, slots, promotion approaches, and even payment methods appear regularly. In addition, more and more countries are reviewing their gambling policies.

Today, gambling continues to occupy top positions among the areas of online marketing available for promotion. Contrary to the established opinion about the taboo of gambling, more and more countries are reviewing their policies and gradually introducing changes to the legislation, allowing players to spend time playing their favourite games without any interference. At the same time, representatives of the digital spheres are also reconsidering their views on the gambling vertical.

As a growing company, DUXGroup is always open for comments and ideas, and, with the rapid development within this gaming niche, we are always looking to add new team members. If you’re interested, go ahead and check out our current vacancies on our website. We hope we will soon have you on board!


Racing TV survey uncovers significant black market threat

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A recent Racing TV survey has drawn a strong response among its members, with more than 3,500 having their say on the Gambling Act Review and the spectre of the black market.

Racing TV is fully supportive of the objectives of the Gambling Act Review in protecting those at risk of gambling harm. In what is the first consumer survey to assess the scale of the black market and affordability checks, the key findings were:

  • 80% of the 3,469 respondents said they would not like to see mandatory limits imposed by bookmakers
  • 15% of 3,539 respondents said they bet, or know someone that bets, with an unregulated online bookmaker
  • 22% of 3,575 respondents said they have been asked to supply personal information
  • 50% (404 respondents) of those asked to supply this information, refused to do so
  • 92% of 3,237 respondents said they would consider using a different bookmaker if no personal information was required

Affordability checks and loss limits have been key focal areas of the ongoing Gambling Act Review and will draw most attention when the White Paper is published.

Reports in the media last year indicated that a leaked draft of the White Paper contained fixed loss limit thresholds. These are highly contentious for our survey respondents. Nearly 80% of the 3,469 respondents said they would not like to see mandatory limits imposed by bookmakers.

Perhaps the most worrying of these findings was that 15% of the 3539 respondents to the below question said that they bet, or they know someone that bets, with an unregulated online bookmaker.

In the absence of clear direction from the Gambling Commission, and while the wait for the publication of the White Paper goes on, many bookmakers have introduced affordability checks, some of which, such as requests for payslips, bank statements or P60s, could be considered intrusive.

More than 22% of the 3,575 respondents to the below question suggested that they have been asked to supply such documents.

Just over half of those who had been asked to supply such documents declined to do so.

In addition, more than 92% of 3,237 respondents to the below question suggested they would consider using a bookmaker, which didn’t require documentation.

Martin Stevenson, CEO of Racing TV’s parent company Racecourse Media Group, said: “The widespread response to the Racing TV survey shows how much the ongoing Gambling Act Review, combined with their recent experiences, is affecting our members.

“Our survey revealed that 15% of respondents bet, or know someone that bets, with an unregulated bookmaker, which is of real concern. With millions of customers betting on racing, the findings of this survey indicate that hundreds of thousands of punters are potentially using the black market.

“This survey is clear evidence that shows that the black market is real and substantial and suggests that affordability checks are having the effect of moving a significant number of affected punters out of the UK-regulated environment and so exposing them to potential harm. This must be a pyrrhic victory and the opposite to what affordability checks set out to achieve.

“We have shared this information with the Gambling Commission and hope that they can take account of this in their assessment of the black market. The evidence suggests it exists and is only building.”

Stevenson went on: “Nearly a quarter (22%) responded yes to the question on whether they had been asked for personal information, with 50% refusing to comply. This is a strikingly high percentage, demonstrating consumers’ rejection of this intrusion on their leisure activity.

“The inference that 22% of racing punters are at risk of harm is very challenging to believe and appears excessive when compared against the overall prevalence of problem gambling.

“In addition, RMG has seen a material decline in online betting turnover on horseracing in 2022. The Racing Post has estimated the sport could lose up to £40m of funding each year. Everyone involved in the industry should be deeply concerned. The impact of affordability checks is that the sport is suffering a heavy financial toll.”

The former Minister with responsibility for Horseracing and Gambling, Paul Scully, recently indicated how the Government were approaching affordability checks, saying: “It is not the role of the government, it is not the role of the Gambling Commission, to tell people how much of their salary they are ‘allowed to’ spend on gambling.”

Stevenson continued: “I hope that the new Minister with responsibility for Horseracing and Gambling will also consider the results of this survey as part of the ongoing work on the Gambling Act Review. It has been long overdue, in this process, to consider the attitudes of the consumers themselves in regard to how they choose to spend their time and money. I was very glad to hear the former Minister acknowledge that in his recent speech.

“Applying universal limits does not recognise the wide range of natural betting behaviours, events, seasonality or differing individual financial circumstances. The undoubted highlight of the Jumps season, the upcoming Cheltenham Festival – which is the major focus for many punters – is clearly a case in point. To that end, I was pleased to see the former Minister stating that a ‘one size fits all approach’ was not the intention.

“I’d like to thank all our members who took part in the survey.”


Over 95% of Indians and Indonesians hold digital IDs linked to government databases, making document-free onboarding a promising reality for businesses

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Sumsub, an all-in-one verification platform, published its guide, Streamlining identity verification in emerging markets. This new resource will help businesses in the fintech, crypto, gambling and trading industries onboard more users from developing countries, specifically Argentina, Brazil, India, Indonesia and Nigeria.

Here are the top 5 highlights from the guide:

  • According to the Sumsub Identity Fraud Study 2022, Nigeria has some of the highest rates of ID forgery in the world. In 2022, Nigeria accounted for 5.4% of fraud detected worldwide, underscoring the challenges for companies onboarding Nigerian users.  However, 90 million Nigerians have already registered for a National Identity Number (NIN), which allows companies to verify people without dealing with potentially forged documents;

  • The biggest KYC challenges in Argentina are poor quality cameras and photos, which lead to verification failure;

  • Online identity fraud is seriously impacting markets in Brazil, including crescent online retail, telecom, finance and banking. More than half of the documents forged in Brazil do not contain MRZs (machine-readable zones), which makes them especially easy to fabricate;

  • About 96% of India’s 1.4 billion population are already registered in the country’s biometric ID system, Aadhar; and

  • More than 95% of the population of Indonesia has e-KTP cards linked to a government database of citizen identities and biometrics. The country also has the largest and fastest-growing digital economy in Southeast Asia, expected to reach $130 billion by 2025, primarily led by the e-commerce industry.

These countries are embracing key digitalization trends. This is particularly the case for identity verification, where large-scale digital ID initiatives have been replacing paper documents. This means that local users are getting accustomed to database verification, rather than physically scanning and uploading their IDs. Therefore, government databases may well replace document-based verification in the near future, allowing businesses to drastically simplify user onboarding in these regions.

In the guide, Sumsub’s experts cover how document-free verification can streamline user onboarding in developing countries, enabling companies to onboard 2B+ people without asking them to upload their IDs. This method—which Sumsub calls 1click verification—uses government databases to speed up onboarding from 50 seconds to just 4.5 seconds on average, helping improve pass rates by 35% on average. All this can be done without compromising data quality, security and user experience.

“Businesses in the fintech, crypto, gambling and trading sectors can use our guide to learn more about document-free verification, as well as the specifics of national documents, local user habits, fraud trends and AML regulations in developing countries, and more. All this will help navigate the verification landscape in Argentina, Brazil, India, Indonesia and Nigeria, with the right insights to seize market opportunity and deal with local KYC and AML challenges,” said Andrew Sever, co-founder and CEO of Sumsub.


Budget 2023 boosts digitisation and formalisation of gaming sector: AVGC sector experts

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Experts and industry leaders in the AVGC (animation, visual effects, gaming and comic) industry praised the Union Budget 2023-24 as beneficial for the industry. Measures such as the clarification in the applicability of TDS only on the “net winnings”, and that too at the end of the year or during withdrawal, were particularly hailed as significant for the industry.

Bharat Patel, Chairman and Director, Yudiz Solutions Ltd, said, “Considering how fast India’s economy is adapting to modern technologies, the budget surely emphasizes the ‘Amrit Kaal’, mentioned by our Hon’ble Prime Minister. We at Yudiz are particularly thrilled that the government has recognised the potential of the gaming industry, and has taken steps in this budget towards fairer recognition of incomes from gaming. It is a positive move that the government has clarified that taxes will be applicable on net winnings, and not on aggregate winnings. We’re also grateful that Hon’ble Finance Minister FM Nirmala Sitharaman has said that the government will issue more clarity on the taxability of online gaming, and ease the tax burden. Proactive measures such as these can unleash the brimming gaming potential of India.”

Jay Sayta, technology and gaming lawyer, struck a more cautious note and said that while the measures are appreciated, more clarity was awaited on the calculation of net winnings.

“The budget and Finance Bill, 2023 has provided important clarity on applicability of TDS for winnings on online gaming platforms that the industry was seeking. It is a welcome step that the concept of ‘net winnings’ has been recognised in the Income Tax Act for online games and TDS only has to be deducted at the end of the financial year or at the time of withdrawal from the user account,” said Mr. Sayta. “However, the manner in which net winnings are supposed to be calculated and the set-offs that may be permitted before calculating such net winnings are left to be clarified by the CBDT through rules/guidelines. Hopefully, the CBDT will soon provide guidance on the manner in which net winnings have to be calculated.”

The new rules also bring parity between online gaming avenues such as apps and offline gaming avenues such as casinos.

Other measures such as the relief in customs duty for import of critical smartphone parts such as lenses and batteries will help stabilize smartphone prices, and help more Indians access mobile technologies and games. The raising of the minimum taxable slab from Rs.5 lakh to Rs.7 lakh under the new tax regime will also indirectly help the industry, as it increases disposable income available to consumers.

Experts also praised the overall support given to the startups in the form of the proposed National Data Governance Policy which will help start-ups access anonymised data, and providing the benefit of carry forward of losses on change of shareholding of start-ups from seven years of incorporation to ten years.

Suraj Chokani, Founder, Ability Games, said, “It is an excellent budget from every aspect, from our point of view. The FM spoke about 7 major thrusts in the budget, calling it Saptrishi, out of which the 6th pointer spoke about new-age technologies. Recognizing such new age tech in itself is a big boost to the industry as a whole and shows the forward looking character of the Government. Focus on MSME and Startups is also a welcome step from our perspective and will help us go a long way. Overall we are very happy and satisfied with such an inclusive Budget.”

Globally, the AVGC industry was valued at $168 billion in 2021, while the Indian AVGC industry was valued at $1.1 billion, a 28% growth over the previous year, according a report by the AVGC task force. The sector has plenty of room for growth, and the government’s recent decisions such as the proposed self-regulation of the online gaming industry and appointment of MeITY as the nodal Ministry will help boost the sector’s growth.


CT Gaming to Display its Newest Products at ICE 2023

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CT Gaming is going to participate in the ICE London trade show, February 7-9. At stand #N5-130, the company will showcase its premium line of multigames, slot machines, an updated Casino management system and exciting new releases.

“Our team of professionals will present the newest and thrilling multigame Diamond Tree 20. It is an exciting mix that includes the most successful and popular games throughout the years and will make an appearance. The multigame is entirely created and based on well-known classics and player favourites, establishing a strong groundwork for success. Along with the game packs from the Diamond King series, it is connected to the progressive 3-level jackpot Diamond Tree,” Biser Bozhanov, Director of Business Development and Strategies at CT Gaming, said.

Visitors will have the chance to see The Next cabinet, which has three 27″ UHD monitors, an enlarged CMS panel, a gloss-finished game deck, a classic button deck with 16 buttons or a button panel with built-in i-deck and many other premium features, as well as the EZ Modulo Tower slot machine, with a 43″ UHD J-curved monitor with a full touch screen.

Another highlight of CT Gaming’s extensive product line at ICE London will be the Casino Management System, which has been refined and updated following the new industry trends and customers’ preferences.

“This, however, is only the tip of the iceberg. We have prepared a far wider set of core products that are industry benchmarks, which we are excited to show our clients. We will present our brand-new all-jackpot multigame Mermaid Quest to all visitors with an exciting 3-level jackpot theme, mesmerising visuals, and amazing sound. It is an exciting product that will be available during the new year,” Bozhanov said.


DoubleDown Interactive Enters into Share Purchase Agreement to Acquire SuprNation

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DoubleDown Interactive announced that the Company has entered into a Share Purchase Agreement to acquire SuprNation AB, a Swedish limited liability company, for cash consideration of approximately $35 million (or €33 million), on a cash free and debt free basis and subject to final 2022 financial review. SuprNation is a European-based i-Gaming company providing differentiated casino gaming experiences.

“We are pleased to announce the first acquisition since DoubleDown’s IPO that we believe complements our existing social casino franchise well and exposes DoubleDown to new growth markets. The acquisition of SuprNation increases our presence in the European i-Gaming market with other geographies expected to be added over time. Their gaming titles and captivating gamification features have created a loyal customer base that we aim to grow while capturing synergy opportunities, including incorporating our deep online gaming experience. As we evaluate inorganic growth opportunities, we will continue to focus on gaming businesses that offer clear synergies with our existing strengths,” In Keuk Kim, Chief Executive Officer of DoubleDown Interactive, said.

“We are extremely excited to become a part of DoubleDown and are looking forward to leveraging the obvious strengths of both companies in the years to come. As part of DoubleDown, we expect to accelerate our expansion and grow our real money gaming foothold through continued development of unique products and efficient marketing strategies,” Joakim Stockman and Henric Andersson, Co-Chief Executive Officers of SuprNation, said.

This all-cash acquisition is expected to close during the second quarter of 2023, subject to satisfaction or waiver of certain customary closing conditions, including without limitation, certain regulatory approvals.


Playtech Appoints Samy Reeb as Independent Non-Executive Director

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Playtech has announced the appointment of Samy Reeb to the Board as a new Independent Non-Executive Director, effective immediately.

Reeb brings extensive experience working with global businesses largely across wealth and tax advisory, the company noted. He began his career in tax advisory at Ernst & Young and tax management at Credit Suisse, before focusing on wealth advisory as an Executive director at Julius Baer, and subsequently joining 1291 Group as Managing Partner.

Brian Mattingley, Non-Executive Chairman, said: “I am delighted to welcome Samy to Playtech. His broad skillset and extensive knowledge of Asia will provide additional depth and experience to the Board. We all look forward to working with him as we continue to execute the group’s strategy.”


How to avoid network and server infrastructure issues during the development cycle

Reading Time: 5 minutes


Mathieu Duperré, CEO, Edgegap


Regardless of whether you’re an indie developer or a AAA publisher, making games is never simple. Taking a game project from the initial concept to launch is a huge undertaking, especially when you begin incorporating multiplayer and social elements. Despite eye-watering budgets and huge teams of developers, countless games fall flat on release.

Thankfully, many of the common obstacles can be easily avoided and disruption to your release timeline kept to a minimum if you’re aware of the potential network and server infrastructure issues at key stages of development: the main development cycle, pre-launch, the launch period itself and once the game has launched.


Problems during the main development cycle

Some of the most common problems you’ll encounter on the tech side of the main development cycle can be the result of:

  • Imperfect or hurried CI/CD pipelines. It can take days to push a new release for testing when you should be able to launch a few releases every day.
  • Dev teams taking on too much in-house rather than seeking outside assistance (netcode, game engine, backend services).
  • Trying to save funds through open-source projects that eventually become outdated, unsupported during your dev cycle or ends up in engineering money pits.
  • Developers waiting until post-launch to focus on important elements such as crossplay.
  • QA teams lacking constant access to the game build.


Any of these sound familiar? If so, it might be time to rethink your core strategy and whether you’re adhering to the DevOps methodology. Do you have a structured approach or are you lurching leftfield and drifting off course?

While developing your own netcode and game engine in-house can seem appealing, it’s important to consider the potential risks that might emerge further down the road. If problems with your netcode or a proprietary game engine present themselves at a particularly busy stage of development, you’ll wish you’d have outsourced them.

Considering where you can offload certain aspects of development to external partners can help reduce your team’s workload and improve their efficiency so they can focus on more pressing matters.


Mistakes to avoid just before the launch

One of the biggest mistakes you can make just before launch? Underestimating your CCU (concurrent users worldwide) and employing a low percentage buffer of around 10%. Misjudging your CCU is going to put too much strain on your servers and overall backend services and is one of the most common reasons players experience crashes around the launch. Similarly, don’t underestimate the number of regions you’ll need servers in too. A global game launch requires an equal distribution of worldwide servers to avoid latency issues.

When it comes to servers, it’s always best to plan ahead and scale back, rather than the other way around. Prioritise network partners who offer pay-as-you-go options for server access, so if you do need to scale back (or up) you can do so easily. This should always be the preferred option and will prevent you from being charged for servers you’re not using. It’s important to be aware of the risks associated with overestimating, as this can lead to studios signing long-term contracts and ultimately being overresourced.

Finally, one issue that can cause developers and studios a lot of trouble is data protection regulation laws. I’ve heard plenty of horror stories about studios turning a blind eye to privacy laws such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA). Make sure you’ve checked the specific rules regarding data collection in your region as early as possible to avoid a frantic rush of paperwork towards the end of development or, worse, incurring costly fines.


Obstacles on launch day

It can be easy to think that you’ve made it through the worst once you reach launch day, but this is usually the stage where major issues can suddenly appear. You may notice a bombardment of negative responses from Twitter, Steam and other platforms addressing critical issues with the game – make sure you address these rather than ignoring them. These responses can be important indicators of how the players are responding to your game and if you’ve factored their feedback in the development phase.

Once the game has launched, you will have the clearest indicator of how many servers you’ll need to support the players. This is where your planning will prove to be correct or wide of the mark if you’d reserved say 1000, but you only need 200.

A 24/7 support plan is an important consideration when the game is live, this will enable rapid fixes to negate as many disruptions as possible. A low-cost DDoS solution is also a crucial facet to bear in mind. A server orchestrator will help developers manage influx of traffic along with capturing crucial data that can be incorporated into the game as part of the observability phase.


Post-launch issues

Now that your game is in the world, there can be a strong temptation to introduce a plethora of new elements to the game to enhance the player experience. While on the face of it these are good ideas, new mods or minor updates can prove problematic and contain major bugs. Responding to these new issues can be distracting and take weeks or even months to solve.

On top of this, if you haven’t properly planned earlier in the process, major updates to your game servers could potentially lead to maintenance issues and significant downtime for your player base. If players have a bad experience on launch, they’ll likely just move on to the next best thing. When EA launched Battlefield 2042, server issues, loading times and game-breaking bugs plagued the game. Within months, player numbers dropped to fewer than 1,000 concurrent players on Steam.

Of course, there are a number of ways to circumvent these issues. It is crucial to choose a backend that can support multi-versioning A/B testing and facilitate rolling updates without outages. You’d be hard-pressed to find a gamer who enjoys an unplayable game. Automation can also help in the production pipeline, this includes deploying quick fix updates and upgrades which will reduce the human error factor.

Another consideration that is often overlooked is outsourcing for network and platform providers to remove a large in-house team dedicated to DevOps or Engineering. This is intensive work that will take up the time of staff, and outsourcing is a viable option and it makes perfect sense for smaller studios, especially to pursue this option purely from a cost-saving perspective.


Making edge count

Edge computing is often overlooked by game developers, but it can alleviate many of the issues described here, particularly around server provisioning and latency issues. Edge technology brings computation and data storage closer to the source of the data, placing it at the edge of the network where performance gain is most optimal. This reduces unnecessary travel and drastically speeds up the process resulting in close to a lag-free experience.

If you’re looking at cross-play for your game, infrastructure requirements become more complex. Edge computing helps to negate some of the most nagging delay issues that come with playing across different platforms. As cross-play becomes more of a consideration for developers, edge computing along with automation can come to be one of the solutions to some of the associated problems. Developers should consider the automation part of the equation when planning their game project. It becomes even more vital when you add more latency-reliant elements to a game.


Fail to plan, plan to fail

There is no one size fits all approach to game development or the challenges associated with it. But taking some of the steps outlined above can help negate potential issues and lessen their impact, preventing total derailment of a game before it even launches.

Small steps like putting your trust in external partners or looking at technologies like Edge computing to squeeze as much performance out of your game as possible might seem small, but their impact on development can’t be underestimated.

Planning for different eventualities at key stages of development will go a long way in ensuring your game is the best it can possibly be at launch. This will give your game the best chance at becoming a lasting hit, not a flash in the pan that’s marred by server issues or bugs.

The logistical side of creating a game might not always be glamorous or exciting, but it’s unavoidable. If your development pipeline is hit by server issues, you’ll be glad you planned ahead.