Messaging - Games Industry Lens


There are typically three primary categories of messages in games:

  • Player engagement messaging targeted at a specific user or cohort of users, such as game invites or push notifications

  • Group messaging between players, such as in-game chat

  • Service-to-service messaging, such as JSON messages used to integrate two or more applications

A common strategy for sending and receiving these types messages is to use publisher-subscriber (pub-sub) and asynchronous processing architecture patterns. AWS provides several services that can help you to implement messaging in your game.

Amazon Simple Notification Service (Amazon SNS) provides a managed service for delivering messages between publishers and subscribers using a pub-sub architecture pattern. Publishers send messages via API to Amazon SNS, which delivers the messages asynchronously to subscribing applications, and can deliver push notifications directly to mobile clients or desktops with support for some of the most widely used push notification services out of the box. Amazon SNS can be used for push notifications to clients as well as service-to-service messaging use cases.

Amazon Simple Queue Service (Amazon SQS) is a fully managed queue service that makes it easy to integrate game servers and your game regardless of the programming language used in each. Many games tasks can be decoupled and handled in the background such as updating a leaderboard or playtime values in a database. This approach is a very effective way to decouple various parts of your game and independently scale the player-facing features from backend processing.

Amazon Managed Streaming for Apache Kafka (Amazon MSK) is a fully managed service that makes it easy to build data streaming and producer/consumer applications using Apache Kafka, a popular open-source platform. Kafka is typically used for ingesting and processing real-time streaming data and can be used for service-to-service messaging

Amazon ElastiCache for Redis provides a fully managed in-memory data store which includes support for the popular pub/sub feature of Redis that is commonly used for developing chat room applications and high-performance service-to-service messaging. Redis also supports rich data types, such as lists and sets, that enable developers to use Redis for high-performance queuing.

Amazon Pinpoint provides user engagement messaging through email, SMS, voice, and push notifications. For example, Amazon Pinpoint can be used to deliver user engagement messages to players to invite them back to the game, and can be used for transactional use cases such as supporting multi-factor authentication tokens, and order confirmation and password reset emails.