Friday, 20th September 2019

Secure data sharing helps run data-driven gaming business

Snowflake’s cloud-built data warehouse gives the independent creator, publisher and distributor of PC and console content the power to make secure, data-driven decisions.

Starbreeze, the independent creator, publisher, and distributor of high-quality entertainment products such as PAYDAY 2 and OVERKILL’s The Walking Dead, uses Snowflake to run a data-driven business. Implementing Snowflake has resulted in pipeline development cost savings and time savings of 8 to 12 months. Additionally, the company now requires only a part-time consultant instead of multiple analysts and engineers.

Starbreeze’s mobile, PC, and gaming console products cover two core business areas: game development and game publishing. Prior to finding Snowflake in January 2017, the company struggled to gather, analyze, and securely share data from multiple sources in order to make data-driven business decisions. Starbreeze found Snowflake through PlayFab, a back-end platform for creating live games. PlayFab is a Microsoft Azure service with which customers can activate Snowflake, which is what Starbreeze did to query its data. The company is now able to load, process, analyze, and securely share terabytes of data in real time.

“We had never really taken a strong data-driven approach to our business before using Snowflake,” said Irene Hjorth, gaming intelligence analyst at Starbreeze. “One of our biggest successes was a game called PAYDAY 2 that had a tremendous traction with millions of players worldwide. Having an indie mentality, we basically developed it for ourselves without doing much data analysis, and now we are using Snowflake Secure Data Sharing to analyze and share our data in order to understand the behavior of our players and the reasons for our success. We’re now applying this knowledge when creating our future products.”

The key Snowflake benefits include:

Secure data sharing. With Snowflake Secure Data Sharing, Starbreeze eliminates the costs, complexity, and security risks of traditional data sharing methods. This has been especially beneficial during the mobile product launch process, where the company needs to share and access many types of data from many different sources – and do it securely.

Understanding customer behavior. Having easy access to all its data sources means Starbreeze can determine what makes its customers return to its products.

Speed to value. Starbreeze is now able to load, process, and analyze its data in real time and make business decisions based on data, not on hunches.

Doing more with less, and doing it faster. Prior to Snowflake, Starbreeze had to augment its limited internal resources by hiring multiple developers and analysts. This process was costly and took up to a year to complete. Now, with Snowflake, Starbreeze needs only a part-time consultant and it reduced the development process to just a few months.

“Starbreeze was an ideal fit for Snowflake’s cloud-built data warehouse, given its millions of users and the vast amount of data it was generating 24/7,” Snowflake VP, Product, Christian Kleinerman said. “Starbreeze’s expertise is in creating products that its customers are passionate about. The combination of that with our expertise in all-things-data allows the company to keep its focus on creativity.”

“Based on our data needs, Snowflake just sounded like a match made in heaven since there is no maintenance, no management, unlimited scalability, and ease of deployment,” continued Hjorth. “It ticked all the boxes for us.”

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