Empowering Game Developers: How PlayFlow Cloud Scales with DigitalOcean

"My first foray into Kubernetes was on DigitalOcean. The simplicity of setting up Kubernetes clusters empowered me to automate and scale our game servers effortlessly."
Haseeb Sheikh, PlayFlow Cloud’s Founder and CEO

PlayFlow Cloud, founded by Haseeb Sheikh, is revolutionizing the game development industry by simplifying the setup and management of game servers. What began as a personal project to address the challenges of infrastructure setup quickly evolved into a thriving business serving thousands of game developers worldwide. PlayFlow Cloud now leverages multiple DigitalOcean products, including DigitalOcean Kubernetes, as the backbone of their scalable cloud infrastructure, and credits DigitalOcean’s ease of use and affordability with helping their business grow.

The genesis of PlayFlow Cloud

PlayFlow Cloud began in 2021 in the same way as many other developer-led businesses—with one developer developing a solution for a pain point they were experiencing themselves. Haseeb Sheikh, PlayFlow Cloud’s Founder and CEO, said about the inception of PlayFlow Cloud: “I was immersed in developing my own game when I realized the daunting task of setting up game servers was overshadowing my creative process,” Haseeb recalls. “I developed a solution to streamline server deployment and shared it with the game development community.”

Haseeb initially shared his solution as a free project that would help other game developers easily set up their infrastructure. Soon, he put together a paid plan, and when people started signing up for the paid plan it clicked that he might have the beginnings of a business.

“People started signing up for the paid plans and that’s when it clicked for me—maybe there is something here, maybe this can be a business.” - Haseeb Sheikh, PlayFlow Cloud’s Founder and CEO

Transition to DigitalOcean

PlayFlow Cloud was initially set up on AWS, but as their user base expanded and their costs on AWS began adding up, Haseeb sought a more scalable and cost-effective cloud solution. DigitalOcean emerged as the preferred choice due to its competitive pricing, user-friendly interface, and robust features, and he started using DigitalOcean as PlayFlow’s primary cloud provider. While PlayFlow Cloud uses a multi-cloud solution to provide game developers with a choice of clouds and low latency across all regions, Haseeb has found DigitalOcean to have the most seamless experience of all the clouds he has tried.

“I found DigitalOcean to have one of the best experiences I could use as a developer. DigitalOcean’s seamless migration process and superior developer experience made it an obvious choice,” says Haseeb.

PlayFlow Cloud also benefited from DigitalOcean’s support and account management, which is tailored to the needs of growing businesses. Working with an account executive, PlayFlow was able to get advice during their migration to DigitalOcean, and continue to engage regularly with their account team at DigitalOcean.

“DigitalOcean’s team has been very responsive, providing technical support and also general account support. When we were first going from AWS to DigitalOcean, they made it really easy for us to migrate, experiment, build, and grow on DO.”

PlayFlow Cloud began using DigitalOcean Droplets for simple, cost-effective compute, using Premium Droplets, but as the platform got more traffic, they migrated their storage and databases over to DigitalOcean as well. Eventually, Haseeb wanted to explore Kubernetes, which he felt would provide a scalable solution for the traffic ebbs and flows that come with game server hosting.

Haseeb’s journey with Kubernetes exemplifies DigitalOcean’s impact on PlayFlow’s growth. “My first foray into Kubernetes was on DigitalOcean,” he explains. “The simplicity of setting up Kubernetes clusters empowered me to automate and scale our game servers effortlessly.” Leveraging DigitalOcean Kubernetes, PlayFlow achieved greater agility and efficiency in managing its infrastructure, allowing them to meet the dynamic demands of their growing user base.

Along the way, Haseeb was able to leverage DigitalOcean’s strong documentation and tutorials to help him improve his knowledge of cloud infrastructure. As a technical founder and the company’s primary employee, being able to get comprehensive breakdowns of complex topics like those provided by the DigitialOcean community was invaluable.

“I love using DigitalOcean not only for its affordability but also for its comprehensive documentation and tutorials—even when I was running on AWS, I was using DigitalOcean tutorials to set everything up. Whether setting up new infrastructure or experimenting with new technologies like Kubernetes, DigitalOcean’s documentation has been invaluable.”

Additionally, Haseeb highlights the exceptional support provided by DigitalOcean. “Whenever I encountered an issue or had a question, DigitalOcean’s support team was quick to respond and provided expert guidance,” he adds.

Driving continued growth with DigitalOcean

PlayFlow’s success story is intrinsically linked with DigitalOcean’s support and products that are built for the needs of growing businesses like PlayFlow Cloud. “DigitalOcean has been instrumental in PlayFlow’s growth,” emphasizes Haseeb. “With DigitalOcean’s robust infrastructure and responsive support, we’ve launched over 300,000 game servers worldwide.” The scalability and reliability offered by DigitalOcean have enabled PlayFlow to expand its operations rapidly while maintaining high levels of performance and uptime.

As PlayFlow continues its upward trajectory, Haseeb envisions a future of expansion and innovation. “Our long-term vision is to further enhance our offerings and cater to the evolving needs of game developers,” he mentions. “DigitalOcean will remain our trusted partner as we embark on this journey of growth and innovation.”

PlayFlow Cloud’s journey underscores the impact DigitalOcean can have on businesses in critical growth stages. From simplifying infrastructure management to enabling seamless scalability, DigitalOcean has empowered PlayFlow to thrive in the competitive game development landscape. As PlayFlow charts its course toward continued success, they look forward to continuing their strong relationship with DigitalOcean as an important ally in their success.

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