19 July 2016

Are you a Pokémon master or are you sick of hearing about it?

It seems that the retro craze has taken over the world once again, and this time it is bringing new technology to the fore and Nintendo’s stocks through the roof!


Just one of the debates around the game – people are driving and playing!

If you’ve yet to hear about it, the game, Pokémon Go, has swept the nation and apparently the globe. The app tracks your location and movement and combines this with augmented reality to offer location-based Pokémon hunting – you could even catch one in your house!

Whilst it is undeniable that it is great to see Nintendo once again moving away from the sedentary nature of video games to getting children (and adults!) moving, there are inevitably going to be challenges with such a popular game.

It seems that their servers are struggling to manage the load. Many users have reported that they’re completely unable to access the app, with others complaining that the Pikachu they just captured hasn’t saved!

It may seem frivolous but to those passionate about playing, this can completely ruin the experience. With that in mind, I wonder how Nintendo/Niantic planned for the release of the game, other than staggering it across the world.

Can you plan for such popularity? Were they planning to run their servers at capacity or did they have extra space that they’ve now exceeded too?

It is something that we experience with clients quite often, albeit on a smaller scale than the global Pokémon Go. When planning for peak season, for promotional spikes or big events, it is essential to have this extra capacity to handle the extra traffic and load on the hosting solution.

Planning ahead, we’re able to deploy load balancers, web accelerators, spin up clouds, increase capacity and be ready for whatever the increased activity brings. We’ve helped clients see massive success from it too – one niche eCommerce client saw their sales skyrocket from around £2,000 a day to £13,000 in one day. Another saw a 900% increase in sales thanks to a boost in speed to their website.

Ultimately it doesn’t matter how great the game, the website or the app, if the speed and customer experience isn’t up to scratch.

Whilst Pokemon Go continues to causes debates across the nation (Is it safe for children? Should adults be playing? Why is everyone giving access to everything that Google knows about them to the game developers?) it also highlights some much-needed tech questions and business issues.

I am interested to see how the situation with the app’s servers continues and if the popularity continues to grow, how Nintendo with accommodate the demand.

What do you think? Were Nintendo/Niantic prepared enough? Are you fed up of hearing about the game?

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