How Epic Games uses AWS to deliver Fortnite to its 200 Million+ players

Epic Games is a leading interactive entertainment company and provider of 3D engine technology. Epic operates Fortnite, one of the world’s largest games with over 350 million accounts and 2.5 billion friend connections.

Epic also develops Unreal Engine, which powers the world’s leading games and is also adopted across industries such as film and television, architecture, automotive, manufacturing, and simulation. Through Unreal Engine, Epic Games Store, and Epic Online Services, Epic provides an end-to-end digital ecosystem for developers and creators to build, distribute, and operate games and other content.

Fortnite is a free to play 100 player PVP last man standing Battle Royale game. Players skydive onto a small island, are equipped with an axe and must scavenge for more weapons, while simultaneously avoiding a killer electrical storm. As players are eliminated, the field of play also gets smaller, meaning players are put closer together for more intense battles. Fortnite provides a different battle royale experience by providing building and combat style gameplay which is very unique.

Fortnite provides its services to 200 Million+ players with 8.3 Million concurrent players. Fortnite occasionally provides its players with in game real time live events such as Concerts, New Year events, Season storylines. The game has witnessed that the concerts drew in 12.3 Million players setting an “all time record” for an in game event.

Epic’s Fortnite Data Analytics :

How Epic Games process these data?

Amazon Web Services (AWS) : Amazon Web Services is a subsidiary of Amazon providing on-demand cloud computing platforms and APIs to individuals, companies, and governments, on a metered pay-as-you-go basis. AWS offers reliable, scalable, and inexpensive cloud computing services. Free to join, pay only for what you use.

Epic Games uses Amazon Web Services (AWS) to deliver Fortnite to its 200 Million+ players world wide. Fortnite, one of the world’s most popular video games, runs nearly entirely on AWS, including its worldwide game-server fleet, backend services, databases, websites, and analytics pipeline and processing systems. Epic Games uses a range of AWS services to provide the availability it needs to support peak usage more than 10 times that of non-peak, as well as the scalability to host game events with all of its 200 Million+ players.

Fortnite runs across 12 AWS data centers in 24 Availability Zones (AZ). The company processes 125 million events per minute from Fortnite clients into the AWS using Amazon’s Kinesis Stream Products. he company is big into Kinesis Streams, and has about 5,000 shards of Kinesis running on AWS.

Data Analytics Pipeline for Fortnite on multiple AWS products

The real-time pipeline is largely driven off of Spark and DynamoDB for temporary storage, which feeds a number of different sources Grafana for scorecards. Epic relies heavily on Amazon’s version of Apache Hadoop, Elastic MapReduce(EMR), for processing. The company uses 22 production EMR clusters (encompassing more than 4,000 EC2 instances) run more than 8,000 batch ETL jobs per day. Those ETL jobs summarize data into Hive tables, which is then provided to analysts to explore via Tableau‘s BI tool, as well as via ad-hoc SQL analysis.

Underlying the batch and real-time analytics is S3, which Epic uses as a data warehouse. Its S3 data warehouse currently has 35PB+ of data , and it’s increasing at the rate of 5 petabytes per month.

The company uses its big data analytics pipeline for a number of things, including detecting any issues or problems that may be occurring. Some problems can only be detected by analyzing data from Fortnite clients, including PC, Web, and mobile interfaces. The company also analyzes players’ social media interaction to assess design decisions, identify player sentiment, and adjust the game.