With a portfolio of twenty browser and mobile games, Bulgaria-based Imperia Online Ltd is best known for its namesake browser-based game. Launched in 2005, Imperia Online is a Massively Multiplayer Online Real-Time Strategy game - its players must manage resources, build their capital, and invade and defend against their neighbours to prosper. Imperia Online currently boasts over 30 million registered players and is active in 150 markets.
Imperia Online, as a real-time strategy game, requires quick responses from its players and instant feedback in order for them to build their empire and direct their armies.
Without a fast response time from the server, a game like Imperia can quickly become unplayable, as players are unable to quickly respond to threats from their neighbours or launch their own attacks at the right time.
There are markets where browser-based free-to-play games are especially popular – such as Russia and Brazil – where poor performance was becoming a real issue, making it challenging for users to enjoy the real-time gaming experience.
Russia and Brazil’s internet infrastructure means that games that demand high performance do not always work as intended. For Imperia Online, which wants its customers to be highly invested and spend a lot of time with the game, poor performance is untenable – but its previous CDN provider was not able to guarantee performance in these areas.
CDNetworks therefore implemented Content Acceleration, its global caching technology, to optimise the performance of Imperia Online in Brazil and Russia.
Content Acceleration ensures that content is delivered via the most efficient reliable path. By caching static content closer to the end-user via its globally deployed network of servers, CDNetworks can ensure rapid response times are not compromised by congestion and high spikes of traffic. For real-time games, a delay of even a few seconds can render a game unplayable – but with CDNetworks Content Acceleration, users can get near-instant feedback on their decisions.
Imperia Online uses a standard ‘free-to-play’ model. Anyone can play the game at no cost, but those who are most invested in the game will buy currency to supplement their armies and empire. Following the implementation of CDNetworks’ Content Acceleration in Russia, Imperia Online has seen the percentage of paying users double, from 5% to 10%. There has also been an increase in the amount of time the average player spends with the game, and a marked reduction in the number of customer support enquiries.
“CDNetworks has delivered acceleration that allows our customers to enjoy Imperia Online more. In fact, it has enhanced the gaming experience so much, that we now have double the number of players in our key target markets who are willing to spend money to augment their experience,” said Mariela Pavlova, Head of Marketing & Business Development.
“Our experience with CDNetworks means we are now considering it possible to work together further in order to help us grow into other markets that are even tougher to reach, such as China.”