At What Costs Do Mobile Gaming Sites Stay Competitive on Performance?
By Aaron Rudger | July 26, 2012
The Keynote Systems’ Startup Shootout Index provides some insight into the three-screen challenge now facing anyone with a web presence. It shows a website's weekly average load time and download success rate (availability) on desktops, smartphones, and tablets. Let's take a look at mobile gaming, but the lessons here apply to any sites optimizing – or not optimizing – for three screens.
The growth of mobile games is inevitable with the growth of mobile devices that enable them including feature phones, smartphones, tablets and even e-Readers. Adverse to many websites, mobile is a main focus for mobile gaming companies like Rovio.
While their desktop load speed leaves something to be desired, Rovio is the fastest social gaming site on the iPad and second fastest on the iPhone (with a speed of seven seconds). Rovio improved their site by redirecting iPad and iPhone users to a lighter, mobile optimized site.
Papaya Mobile is another mobile gaming site, loading at a blazing 2.58 seconds on the iPhone, leveraging best practices and simply requiring a login screen as the first step to access the site. The login screen loads very quickly because of its simplicity, a great way to get your gamers on the site efficiently with minimal wait.
While most mobile gaming sites focus on their mobile speed and reliability to retain their loyal customers. Crowdsart has managed to integrate the best of mobile and desktop performance and reliability.
Crowdstar has arguably the best overall performance in the July Startup Shootout for mobile games, with a better than average desktop load speeds and 6.97 seconds to load on the smartphone. What is remarkable about the smartphone loading time is that Crowdstar brings the entire site to iPhone users, rather than offering bits of content to speed mobile interaction. If they optimized their site even further for mobile, they have the ability to achieve even faster speeds. The response time for iPad users is better than average and may end up being tolerable when connected over Wi-Fi instead of the 3G network.
Although Rovio and Papaya charge forward for quick mobile speeds to target their main demographics, leveraging best practices and monitoring slight changes in website devlopment can give many developers the ability to optimize a better overall experience over all three screens.