The secret to OMGPOP’s scale is a company called Couchbase, which has open source database software that enabled OMGPOP to scale from zero to 35 million users in 6 weeks. Three weeks ago, the operations team at OMGPOP called Couchbase to help scale its game Draw Something, which has gone from 2 million to 12 million uses in less than a month.
Couchbase CEO Bob Wiederhold said, “OMGPOP is an amazing story of growth. Their infrastructure needed to scale at astonishing rates. It’s been up without a second of downtime. A key part of the gaming success is being able to handle incredible growth.”
Couchbase worked closely with OMGPOP over the past three weeks. “That’s not unusual, customers call us when they have a successful application. We are strong in ad platforms, online business services, social networks and online media companies,” he said.
Wiederhold pointed out other high profile games that haven’t been able to scale. Electronic Arts game The Simpsons: Tapped Out was one of the top apps in the Apple’s App store, but to be pulled because it couldn’t scale due to server issues, he said. It’s been out of the store for a few weeks.
“You have to have designed for that scalability upfront. [As an app maker], hopefully you picked a database and can scale rapidly and take on huge number of users quickly,” he said. “If the games are slow, people move away. In the social gaming space, it’s about getting high performances. It’s extremely difficult to scale a centralized database because it requires a lot of effort. This is a distributed database.”
Zynga has been a customer of Couchbase for a couple of years and is a partner in developing the open source software, NoSQL. OMGPOP used Couchbase’s software on their own servers.
That’s why Couchbase is the best kept secret in social gaming platforms and backends right now, an investor in social gaming told us.