Imagine the costs involved to block daily DDoS and targeted cyberattacks, and you will see why online gaming cannot be cheaper

According to statistics, as much as 82% of the urban online populations in South-east Asia are tapped into gaming.

For the online gaming industry, latency and performance requirements during peak periods of use can be challenging to manage.

Tommy Li, Vice President, Tencent Cloud, knows that only too well. In an email interview, he explains to how this critical factor can be managed.  

DigiconAsia: What is the current gaming landscape faced by game publishers in the region?

Tommy Li, Vice President, Tencent Cloud

Tommy Li (TL): Mobile gaming is growing in popularity, underscored by a broader, skyrocketing preference and demand for real-time, highly interactive gameplay.

In South-east Asia, with governments doubling down on building data infrastructures, gamers are also expecting greater and more immersive online experiences. This also means that game publishers must now contend with heightened and more stringent requirements for network quality, while facing increasingly sophisticated hacking attempts.

Network performance and strong security safeguards have now become key prerequisites for any mobile game to succeed, especially as the bar for a smooth, stable and secure gameplay experience continues to be raised. 

Separately, gaming platforms are becoming today’s new social media channels to stay connected with. The advent of video and music-sharing platforms has fueled the rise of user-generated content (UGC). We are seeing the same trajectory for UGC in the gaming sector, as many game publishers start to place increased attention on UGC to drive greater player participation, retention and engagement. ‘

Elements like a free-to-play model and in-game social networking features have also significantly expanded the UGC ecosystem, by making content generation and sharing more accessible. As the industry continues to bring more exciting prospects to players, this necessitates substantial enhancements to both user experience and game content by game publishers. 

DigiconAsia: We know that just a second of latency delay can affect gameplay experiences. What about other sources of delays?

TL: There is perhaps no worst-case scenario than experiencing a high volume of distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks during gameplay. In fact, the gaming sector has emerged as the key target for DDoS attacks globally in the first half of this year. According to studies, South-east Asia was the hardest-hit region worldwide for DDoS attacks, accounting for 39% of total attacks. 

Such security breaches not only significantly impact the gameplay experience, but are also harmful to game publishers that are at critical phases in their publishing roadmap — for instance when launching a new game title. 

The risks of security breaches during gameplay underscore the importance of implementing a security solution that simultaneously ensures low latency while offering data cleansing capabilities to filter out malicious traffic.

To ensure smooth and high-quality gaming experiences, the industry needs to embrace very high DDoS protection bandwidths. The largest DDoS attack to date was 3.47Tbps, so this can be used as a baseline reference. Also important is to have the ability to identify and mitigate most DDoS attacks within single digit seconds with super high efficiency. 

DigiconAsia: How does the region vary in terms of providing optimal latency and cybersecurity for gamers? 

TL: While the wave of digital transformation in the region has led to gradual enhancements of the national network infrastructures, network development remains uneven across the region. (Refer to the Open Signal global chart of internet speeds below)

The ability to withstand cybersecurity shocks also differs across the region. However, we believe that the increasing interconnectedness of the region means that no market or organization can work alone in pushing cybersecurity standards.