The world’s largest event for gamers, gamescom, decided to take measures to go 100% online in 2021 in response to COVID-19.
To offer all fans and partners the best possible digital experience, the organizers revamped the gamescom now content hub, relying on GraphCMS to power the content created by over 200 external users from leading gaming companies like Microsoft Xbox, Ubisoft, and BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment, among others.
With over 200 external exhibitors from 31 countries presenting themselves at gamescom in 2021, there were multiple challenges for the gamescom team to overcome. The gamescom team had to ensure that they were able to match the experience online, and given the time-sensitive launch information that gaming companies had to add, granular permission levels and strong governance were critical to success. To find the ideal solution, the gamescom organizers and Koelnmesse partnered with the development team at Shopmacher, to build a content hub on par with the performance of a leading streaming platform.
After evaluating several headless CMS, DXP, and custom solutions, the gamescom team decided that the combination of GraphCMS and Frontastic was perfect for what gamescom had to achieve. Given its granular content and condition-based permissions, ability to handle extremely high peaks of traffic, and provide a robust content repository to manage content from 200+ contributors, GraphCMS emerged as the leading solution when paired with a custom frontend from Frontastic.
The teams at Shopmacher, Frontastic, and GraphCMS worked closely with the gamescom team to perform several performance tests, as well as set up several custom roles for external users with granular permissions, ensuring that one user was unable to view, edit, or find content from another user, given the confidential nature of content added before “launch day.”
The Current SetupAnchor
As the backend team at Shopmacher set out to create a unique digital experience for gamescom, they worked with Frontastic to build out the custom frontend. Once the architecture and user experience mapping were in place, they set out to configure GraphCMS as a high-volume repository to unify the content layer, hosting thousands of content entries from leading online game publishers from across the world with granular permissions.
The infrastructure was heavily tweaked for performance, expecting to match 2020’s traffic of 3M users over 3 days - the end result allowed for unmatched API performance on dedicated clusters, sustaining over 60M API operations for 3.5M simultaneous sessions from across the world without any interruptions.
The gamescom team finally settled on GraphCMS for the following reasons:
It was critical for one user to have absolutely no access to the content from another, given that gaming companies were to launch new games at gamescom. With custom permissions created for 200+ external contributors, gamescom ensured no information was leaked or incorrectly accessed to hamper any big announcements.
As the largest gaming expo, gamescom was able to give custom access to external editors from companies like Microsoft Xbox, Ubisoft, and BANDAI NAMCO, to add their content into GraphCMS.
High-performance Content HubAnchor
With gamers being among the most demanding digital consumers, expecting flawless performance across all platforms, GraphCMS was able to serve over 60M API operations for 3.5M parallel sessions with rapid response times, having virtually no impact on performance, even at peak times.
Throughout the process, performance was a key factor for gamescom. Using leading microservices to build a composable stack unique to their needs, gamescom opted to host their content on a dedicated cluster to ensure complete scalability as needed, without external factors getting in the way. From 80+ available locations with GraphCMS, the team finally settled on hosting in Frankfurt to ensure virtually no latency issues.
Unique Editorial ExperienceAnchor
GraphCMS’s no-code schema builder and intuitive UI was perfect for gamescom given that they had to onboard 200+ external users. With custom content models set up, external users from leading game publishers were able to contribute their content within the specified timeframes, ready to go on launch day.