Game Traffic Analysis: An MMORPG Perspective


Online gaming is one of the most profitable businesses over the Internet. Among all genres of the online games, the popularity of the MMORPG (Massive Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games) is especially prominent in Asia. Opting for a better understanding of the game traffic and the economic well being of the Internet, we analyze a 1,356-million-packet trace from a sizeable MMORPG, ShenZhou Online. This work is, as far as we know, the first formal analysis on the MMORPG server traces.

We find that the MMORPG and FPS (First-Person Shooting) games are similar in that they both generate small packets and require low bandwidths. In particular, the bandwidth requirement of MMORPG is even lower due to the less real-time game play. More distinctive are the strong periodicity, temporal locality, and irregularity observed in the MMORPG traffic. The periodicity is due to a common practice in game implementation, where the game state updates are accumulated within a fixed time window before transmission. The temporal locality in the game traffic is largely due to the game nature where one action leads to another. The irregularity, particular unique in MMORPG traffic, is due to the diversity of game design where the user behavior can be drastically different depending on the quest at hand.


Kuan-Ta Chen, Polly Huang, Chun-Ying Huang, and Chin-Laung Lei, "Game Traffic Analysis: An MMORPG Perspective," ACM NOSSDAV, June 2005.


@inproceedings{chen05:traffic, author = {Kuan-Ta Chen and Polly Huang and Chun-Ying Huang and Chin-Laung Lei}, title = {Game Traffic Analysis: An {MMORPG} Perspective}, booktitle = {NOSSDAV 05: Proceedings of the international workshop on Network and operating systems support for digital audio and video}, pages = {19--24}, publisher = {ACM Press}, year = {2005}, isbn = {1-58113-987-X}, location = {Stevenson Washington USA}, doi = {} }