Kuma Games -- Leading Provider of Engaging, High-Speed Online Episodic Games -- Expands Global Presence With Help From IBM and Akamai
ARMONK, NY and CAMBRIDGE, MA - Jun 2008: Kuma Games, the world’s leading publisher and developer of free, episodic games, has extended its relationship with IBM (NYSE: IBM) and its business partner, Akamai, to support its global business growth. Through this partnership, Kuma Games will dramatically accelerate the speed of game downloads, and support its rapidly growing audience with improved delivery of its 3D episodic games. Powered by the combination of IBM’s superior hardware and Akamai’s Electronic Software Delivery solution and globally-distributed platform, the collaboration will also facilitate Kuma Games to expand into new
“Our relationship with IBM and their ecosystem of partners enables us to focus on delivering a great game experience to our fans,” said Keith Halper, CEO of Kuma Games. “The new technology is already translating to dollars and cents: since implementing IBM and Akamai solutions, we have seen download times slashed, and as a result conversion rates have improved by 40% with user time rising to substantially more than an hour per session.”
Using a TV-like distribution model to release free, episodic games on a regular schedule, Kuma Games has delivered nearly 150 ad-supported episodes and garnered more than six million users, adding 350,000 new users every month. Kuma Games’ portfolio of games includes The History Channel’s “Dogfights,” Spike TV’s “The Kill Point Game” and original series “DinoHunters” and “Kuma\War.”
Kuma Games is continuously seeking to develop new episodic gaming content, expand into new markets and strike new partnership agreements. Kuma Games’ global expansion will change how online episodic games are played and developed around the world. In order to support this aggressive initiative, Kuma Games needed a solution to reach online gamers effectively and an infrastructure that can scale to meet increasing demand and support unpredictable traffic spikes while improving the download completion rates.
Leveraging the IBM BladeCenter and Akamai’s Electronic Software Delivery solution, Kuma Games is able to distribute games online globally, and achieve high download speeds despite peaks in traffic.
Akamai, a key IBM business partner, helps game publishers and developers like Kuma Games to overcome their unique challenges of delivering game content online, such as disparate end user geographies, large game file sizes including HD trailers, high traffic levels, uneven or inconsistent traffic patterns and inherent Internet weaknesses such as network outages.
“Akamai’s game solutions offer game publishers the performance, scalability, reliability and reach to deliver their game content online to a global user base, without the need for costly infrastructure build-out,” said Brad Rinklin, Vice President of Marketing, Akamai Technologies. “As Kuma Games continues to grow globally for the foreseeable future, having Akamai and IBM by their side will free them from worrying about any infrastructure related issues, allowing them to pursue their expansion strategy without hesitation and focus their IT resources on new initiatives for developing episodic online games.”
Leveraging Akamai’s Electronic Software Delivery solution, game publishers and developers can not only improve the performance of downloads, but also are able to measure download and completion rates in a number of different ways so they can provide the best insight possible into the customer base, ultimately leading to increased customer satisfaction and bottom-line revenues.
As a high performance, scalable computing platform, IBM BladeCenter is particularly well suited to support games environment. It offers the scalable architecture that Kuma needed to deliver immersive and responsive experiences to all levels of gamers from flying an American Hellcat over Wake Island to traveling aboard a spaceship. In addition, the BladeCenter solutions is power efficient, helping Kuma manage energy costs, and has an open, flexible design that will enable the system to grow with Kuma as it expands its global presence by adding new users while protecting the company’s investment.
“The free to play episodic game model is growing in popularity; we are very excited about our relationship with Kuma Games. As clients increasingly seek to expand their presence around the world and meet the needs of today’s savvy consumer, we not only provide the expertise and advanced technology required but also help our clients to partner with the right solutions provider as evidenced in this partnership,” said Daniel Witteveen, IBM America’s Executive for Games and Interactive Entertainment.
IBM has a long history in the Games and Interactive Entertainment Industry. IBM’s microprocessor technologies power the world’s leading game consoles and its hardware, software and services, including its ecosystem of partner solutions, help game companies of all sizes build profitable businesses and create compelling experiences for gamers. Its strong global focus on the media and entertainment industry includes serving all the major industry segments -- entertainment, publishing, information providers, media networks and advertising.
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