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Saving $240,000 a year on in-game analytics

Jelly Button

Data Analytics



Jelly Button

Acquired by Playtika in 2017, Jelly Button develops and publishes mobile and web games. Its flagship title, Pirate Kings, has been downloaded 80 million times.. Using the Google Reference Architecture for Mobile Gaming Analytics, DoIT International and games developer Jelly Button cut costs for analytics on millions of daily users by more than two-thirds

Nadav Steiner, Infrastructure Team Lead

"We love to be at the edge of technology, so when we had the opportunity to integrate the Google game telemetry architecture into our ecosystem, we jumped at it. With Google, our analytics cost us about a quarter of what we were paying before.”

The brief

“Licenses for our previous analytics service were expiring,” says Nadav. “So we had to work to a tight deadline. DoiT International provided us with its best talent to launch this project in just under five weeks from start to production, with weekly meetings to review progress. It’s the latest in several successful initiatives with DoIT International, including cost optimisation and a cloud security review.”

What we did

Analysing gamer data is vital for any online game developer, especially for data-driven organisations such as Jelly Button, as Liad Livne, BI Manager, explains. “We analyse user behaviour and try to improve on KPIs, such as retention and average revenue per user, by assessing which offers and promotions to suggest to players. We use the same data to improve our games, focusing on technical issues and difficulty levels.” Adds Nadav, “To do that, we would execute an hourly and a daily ETL, extracting raw data from our business analytics service and loading it into Google BigQuery to access the information.” Unfortunately, running costs for the business analytics service part of the process became disproportionately high as games went viral, so the Jelly Button team began to talk with the cloud experts at DoIT International about building something new.

Using the Google Reference Architecture for Mobile Gaming Analytics as a baseline, Jelly Button began streaming data directly into Google BigQuery from its clients. “We considered several alternatives and this was the best one, both in terms of cost and in terms of technology,” says Nadav. Autoscaling the solution with Google Kubernetes Engine, the team set up Google Cloud Pub/Sub to relay events with low latency through to Google Cloud Dataflow, which filters, maps, and aggregates the raw data for Google BigQuery, making the data available for analysis in near real time. Because the data and analytics on each game is stored in a separate Google BigQuery project in a modular pipeline, managing the process is simple for administrators.

The result

According to the Jelly Button team, the new Google based solution is more than two-thirds cheaper to run than the system it replaces, saving the company US$240,000 per year. In a typical month, processing around 500 events per second, the company spent under US$4,000 on Google Cloud Platform services. Using reOptimize , a free cost tracking and optimization tool, Jelly Button easily tracks and controls its Google Cloud Platform costs, keeping budgets controlled and predictable, as well as low.

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