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Wooga creates the world’s best social mobile games with a lot of heart and just the right amount of smarts. Based in Berlin, Wooga employs over 250 people from over 40 nations to create games for a global audience. Wooga has quickly become one of the world’s biggest developers on Facebook and they are bringing their experience in creating lasting social hits to mobile. Over 50 million people play Wooga’s free-to-play games each month.
Early Wooga Challenges
Founded in 2009, Wooga started with a small team of four engineers. To support their exponential user growth everyone was on-call all the time. When an incident occurred, an alert was sent to the entire team and the resolution of incidents was on a volunteer, ad-hoc basis. So even though everyone was always on-call, alerts were not acknowledged immediately. To avoid burn out and missed alerts, they wanted to fairly divide on-call responsibility and create accountability over incidents.
“We wanted to give people the chance to spend quality time with their families.” -Jesper Richter-Reichhelm, Head of Engineering
Wooga has a strong culture of independence and each game is owned by an individual engineering. Each team can choose the monitoring solutions they trust to watch after their game. But across all teams one of the most important metrics is user engagement. Since Wooga users will lose interest if there are lags or bugs, every team fanatically monitor their systems. To ensure that downtime and performance degradation never happens, one route they considered was forming a network operations center (NOC). The NOC team would watch over their games and notify the right person if something went wrong. But given their need to immediately route the incident the right person, the NOC model did not work.
Wooga’s engineering teams’ freedom of responsibility comes with accountability. Each team owns their game’s technical and business metrics. If the game is down and in-game purchases cannot be made, the engineering team is at fault.
“We needed a solution that would support every team’s unique needs so they can meet their goals.”
How Did PagerDuty help?
Wooga turned to PagerDuty and with reliable alerting, Wooga has decreased their incident response time. By having each of their engineers select their individual alerting preferences, incidents are now responded to instantly with virtually a zero second lag between detection and acknowledgement.
“PagerDuty gives us one less thing to worry about. It just works.”
Wooga is a data-driven organization. They run hundreds of A/B tests to a small subset of their users to make design decisions and release only the best features to the masses. Before PagerDuty, Wooga had no information around their response and resolution times. By routing incidents through PagerDuty, Wooga has centralized incident management and can spot trends that help them optimize their system health checks process.
“PagerDuty has given us the intelligence around our response times and alerting patterns. We have become more efficient with PagerDuty.”
Wooga’s claim is “Games. Everybody. Everyday.” When you want to take a quick break to play your favorite games, there is nothing more annoying than downtime. Thanks to PagerDuty, “everyday” also means “everytime”.
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