How Two4Tea scaled its Game Application to 55 Million users with Back4App
There are a variety of different businesses that have made great use of Back4App’s services and flexible backend to launch and improve their applications. This particular partnership, with game-maker Two4Tea, is notable because Back4App was able to help provide support on all phases for a popular app, from building to launch to scaling to optimizing. Here’s a closer look at how our platform helped this client refine and scale their operations.
Two4Tea is one of the top mobile gaming companies in the world, however, as CEO Nicolas Boulch pointed out, it had rather humble beginnings. Initially, it was designed mainly for launching existing games. In time, though, it would evolve into a full-on mobile game development company, both designing and launching gaming apps.
Our main games are mostly Fight List, Fight List 2 and Podium, Boulch shares.
Fight List is the crown jewel of their gaming offerings. Based around challenging friends to guess answers for questions in a 5-on-5 tag format, this addictive game has garnered the following accolades:
- Over 55 million players worldwide
- Translated into 7 different languages (French, English, Spanish, German, Italian, Serbian and Norwegian)
- Top rankings in app stores in countries including the U.S., France, United Kingdom, Italy, and Singapore
- Over 1 million concurrent players at its peak
At first glance, it may be a surprise that a company with this amount of success would need help when it comes to the back end of their app. However, in a lot of ways, it’s that same success that drove Two4Tea to Back4App. Boulch notes, initially, they focused on using the Parse Platform because it was relatively easy to use and maintain.
However, part of the issue with using open-source software like Parse is that there can almost be too many modular applications to choose from. In order to create a customized solution for your needs, you need to first decide what capabilities you want to use, then actually implement them. This takes a lot of time and manpower that not all companies have, especially if they are in a hurry.
This was the major challenge the client was dealing with. In order to properly take advantage of Fight List’s overnight success, they needed to scale their operation quickly. For example, Fight List would be dealing with over 600 requests per second that Parse includes as a baseline. API optimization, among other features, was needed in order to handle the problem.
At first, we hesitated to build our server by ourselves, which could have made us save a lot of money. But as Fight List was becoming more and more popular every day, we were a little bit in a rush and didn’t want to be overloaded. Then we came across your Back4app and start using your solution.
Boulch points out.
At the same time, the existing server instabilities posed a problem.
At this time we realized that Back4App was the right choice because they could analyze our app specifically and build a custom solution to us.
There are two main reasons that Back4App stood above as a solution. 1st is the fact that it saved them from needing to take time to hire an entire backend team, as well as the logistical issues that pose. In addition, as they started to scale, they realized that Parse Open Source can be a challenging platform to work on, especially, when they hit their peak of 600 requests a second. A customized approach would be needed to improve app performance in these circumstances.
Back4App’s customizability made it easy to help put together a back end for Fight List that could handle the added load of the frequent requests. It was also easier to manage and upgrade, at a fraction of the cost of buying and maintaining one’s own servers. The Back4App team managed this by analyzing the most common source requests that Fight List had. They then completely customized open source Parse to handle these requests in a different manner. In essence, Parse was optimized for Fight List’s needs.
Back4App Team was able to do this because, on the Platform, each application is treated differently, allowing for a custom approach for each client. Here are some of the key exclusive features were used to build FightList:
-Database/Database dashboard: This makes it possible to create, view and edit the database as needed without taking a lot of time. Since Fight List needs to rapidly access data for user rankings as well as to actually create the questions and answers, it’s essential to work with these with minimal issues.
-Push notifications: Similar to database requests, Fight List naturally has a high amount of push notifications sent, on both iOS and Android platforms. We are able to create a custom backend designed to handle the heavy volume of requests.
-Cloud code: As we mentioned earlier, a major reason why Two4Tea chose Back4App was to avoid having to take on the added expense and time of adding their own server. Our method is to build cloud functions on the computer and upload them with a simplified CLI. Our cloud code also makes it possible to access back-end resources, send push messages, and integrate with third-party APIs whenever you need it. For Fight List, the primary uses for the cloud code are data management, player ranking, and matchmaking.
Along with the customized aspect of the solution, Back4App also provided a far faster method to get the backend of Fight List up to speed. It’s possible to set up an app in 5 minutes using the Back4App platform, and the fact that we offer cloud code means it’s possible to make changes as needed from anywhere. This is part of the reason why Nicolas speaks so highly of Back4App because it makes setting up and handling all these features easier to do.
The ultimate goal for Fight List was to be able to help them upscale the back end of their app without requiring a lot of time and energy. Today, it’s scaled to handle 55 million users, as well as up to 15,000 calls per second. In addition, being able to save time as opposed to finding their own solution allowed the client to take full advantage of their app’s window of peak popularity.
In its current state, the Fight List app uses the Facebook SDK in conjunction with Back4App’s API to log in users. In addition, to get data for each round of the game, requests are rapidly made to the database. Along with this, Fight List utilizes cloud code for the matchmaking process, in order to send push notifications, get player rankings, and manage data. While the end process may be simple, the major benefit of Back4App was being able to customize this quickly on a large scale.
In addition, after the successful Fight List project, Two4Tea continued to work with Back4App for the back ends of some of their other apps.
We built many games after Fight List and they are all shown on our Back4app account, Boulch mentions.
We keep using Back4app for the same reason as we choose it before. It’s easy to use and fast to implement. It saves us time and money!
Back4App’s work with Two4Tea shows off an important aspect of our platform that doesn’t always get discussed: the ability to help customize and scale backends for existing apps. In platforms like the mobile gaming world and other areas, it’s possible for an app to get viral attention, but that is very much a case of lightning in a bottle. In order to take full advantage of these opportunities, you need to make sure that you have a scalable backend for your app.
This is where Back4App comes into play. As a backend-as-a-service built on top of the open-source Parse framework focused on delivering the best database experience to developers. We are able to scale and customize solutions for clients that may have built their apps on top of Parse but need to go beyond what the conventional needs are. Back4App main features include:
- NoSQL Database;
- SDKs to 13+ technologies
- APIs in REST and GraphQL;
- Dashboard to Manage your data;
- Cloud Functions;
- Push Notifications;
- Cloning Apps;
- Multi-cloud hosting;
Maintain and scale your app with no need for codes or servers. Interested in scheduling a consultation for your current or future app? We look forward to working with you.