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Architecting & Launching the Halo 4 Services - SRE CON 15

by Caitie McCaffrey

Published March 18, 2015 in Technology

Halo 4 is a first-person shooter on the Xbox 360, with fast-paced, competitive gameplay. To complement the code on disc, a set of services were developed and deployed in Azure to store player statistics, display player presence information, deliver daily challenges, modify playlists, catch cheaters, and more. As of June 2013, Halo 4 had 11.6 million players who played 1.5 billion games, logging 270 million hours of gameplay.

The Halo 4 services were built from the ground up to support high demand, low latency, and high availability. In addition, video games have unique load patterns where the majority of the traffic and sales occurs within the first few weeks after launch, making this a critical time period for the game and supporting services. Halo 4 went from 0 to 1 million users on day 1, and 4 million users within the first week.