This will be a short blog post, but when a major operator in the US says “we registered it as our biggest "gaming" event in history”, I think it’s something worth of sharing.
So what caused biggest “gaming” related event in this operator’s history? Not Call of Duty, not Grand Theft Auto, but FIFA 16’s beta release.
The free public beta came out on September 9th on multiple gaming platforms with the average download size over 4GBs.
The chart above shows all gaming traffic the operator observed last week. You can see that FIFA 16’s beta caused gaming traffic to be more than triple typical daily levels. The FIFA release also increased total traffic on this network to levels that were almost 8% higher than what is typically observed.
The software release driving usage spikes phenomena has previously been observed by Sandvine during the annual launch of Apple’s major iOS software releases (which is happening again next week, BTW).
As games increasingly rely on digital downloads it may benefit the industry to explore a better system for distribution. If a system could be devised to allow subscribers to download content in advance (like some PC games do), not only would it save the network from being congested, but it would also result in a better experience for gamers who could begin playing the game immediately when it is released, rather than having to wait hours for the game to download.
Just a thought.