How Google Cloud Overcame Pokémon GO Launch Troubles


Pokémon GO has been downloaded more than 500 million times worldwide, but, after the augmented reality app’s arrival was met with unrivalled demand, many will remember the early troubles that the servers suffered.

Now, Google Cloud director of Customer Reliability Engineering Luke Stone has provided detailed insight into how their platform was able to eventually alleviate the issues that Niantic had faced. In short, user adoption was expected to see gradual growth over several months, but the game’s popularity had “surged to more than 50 times the initial target,” carrying them far beyond even their worst case scenario.

Niantic’s expectations were surpassed within the 15 minutes after Pokémon GO launched in Australia and New Zealand, with the developer, while pleased with the response, asking Google Customer Reliability Engineering “for reinforcements” with a release in the United States planned the next day.

The rest of Stone’s overview is a fascinating read, providing a behind-the-scenes look at how Pokémon GO conquered the globe, and how advances in technology were able to meet with the level of demand that it attracted.

“Niantic’s Pokémon GO was an all-hands-on-deck launch that required quick and highly informed decisions across more than a half-dozen teams,” Stone closes. “The sheer scale and ambition of the game required Niantic to tap architectural and operational best-practices directly from the engineering teams who designed the underlying products. On behalf of the Google CRE team, I can say it was a rare pleasure to be part of such a memorable product launch that created joy for so many people around the world.”


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