$10 billion French gaming giant Ubisoft has admitted to being impacted by a crippling distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks during the launch of its most-anticipated gaming releases for the year.
Over the weekend, Ubisoft launched Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey, a much-hyped AAA (high-budget) gaming title in a simultaneous release all over the world. The French gaming giant, which saw £1.5 billion from 2017-18 in sales alone with a five-year €500 million bond issue that was four times oversubscribed at 1.28 percent said it was “experiencing a series of DDoS attacks” that affected multiple games across all platforms.
“We’re currently experiencing a series of DDoS attacks, which unfortunately are a common occurrence for almost all online service providers,” Ubisoft told gamers on its forum. “This may impact connections to our games as well as server latency, and we are taking steps to mitigate this issue. “
In its annual report, the company underlined the importance of a game launch and, in extension, what a poor launch for a major title could do for its financial performance. Quite simply, a billion-dollar gaming company is most vulnerable during the launch of an anticipated game since an unplayable game when it’s getting the most coverage could impact its overall shelf-life during the following years.
The gaming industry is heavily reliant on hype cycles and successful launches but Ubisoft added that “the growing share of the back catalog and digital, offering higher repeat revenue and better profitability, enable it to gradually be less dependent on these new launches.”
According to research from NetScout, online gaming platforms remain the #1 motivator for DDoS attacks, more-so than extortion.
Netscout principal security technologist Kirill Kasavchenko told the Computer Business Review that a hybrid solution involving backups and on-premise mitigation techniques are necessary to quell the threat of DDoS attacks.
“The right solution should consider several things. Firstly, when choosing or building a data centre, gaming companies must evaluate whether it has the capacity, connectivity and readiness to weather a DDoS attack,” he said.
“Then, to stand against large scale volumetric attacks, upstream service providers or cloud services can provide extra defences. Finally, an on-premise application-layer mitigation can be used to further minimise potential service issues. This hybrid approach is vital to keeping services online, despite any untoward actions by hackers.”
Image credit: Flickr/steamXO.