It’s a gamer’s worst nightmare. The shot is lined up, the monster’s treasure is calling, and then the action freezes. Kicked to the lobby or forced to reboot, the gamer loses a hard-played shot at points and booty.
The prospect of such negative experiences also keeps gaming developers and infrastructure planners up at night. Competition among massively multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPGs)—from World of Warcraft to Fortnite—means unreliable server connectivity or latency-plagued action can easily spell doom. It destroys the immersive experience and directly affects gaming companies’ bottom line.
And today’s gaming market isn’t child’s play. It’s big business – over £98 billion, with more than 2.5 billion video gamers of all ages worldwide. Enthusiasts run the gamut from mobile to console to PC, with the latter still comprising 57% of global revenues. Even Google is joining the movement, with 2019 plans to launch a new digital gaming platform, Stadia, which will stream games that used to rely on discs or downloads.
Demands on gaming infrastructure can be intense. In 2018, Playerunknown Battlegrounds (PUBG)—touted as a Fortnite alternative—hit 550,000 players hourly on Steam, the online-only game store. Another MMORPG, Defense of the Ancients 2 (DOTA 2), averaged 532,000 players hourly. Peak player numbers frequently reach into the millions, and delivering realistic action at these volumes is a challenge which companies use various strategies to overcome.
Gaming infrastructure design
Most online games use a client-server model. The client running on the user’s computer, console, or smartphone includes the playing board and user’s viewpoint, based on algorithms that dictate the representations of the game world and action that the gamer sees and hears. On the server side, the multiplayer universe is constructed, incorporating the various connected clients into an accurate depiction for all players.
Like most other client-server applications, MMORPGs rely on multiple servers to spread out workloads

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