The State of Data Streaming with Apache Kafka and Flink in the Gaming Industry

Kai Waehner
7 min readJan 25, 2024

This blog post explores the state of data streaming for the gaming industry in 2023. The evolution of casual and online games, Esports, social platforms, gambling, and new business models require a reliable global data infrastructure, real-time end-to-end observability, fast time-to-market for new features, and integration with pioneering technologieslike AI/machine learning, virtual reality, and cryptocurrencies. Data streaming allows integrating and correlating data in real-time at any scale to improve most business processes in the gaming sector much more cost-efficiently.

I look at trends in the games industry to explore how data streaming helps as a business enabler, including customer stories from Kakao Games, Mobile Premier League (MLP), Demonware / Blizzard, and more. A complete slide deck and on-demand video recording are included.

(Originally posted on Kai Waehner’s blog: “The State of Data Streaming with Apache Kafka and Flink in the Gaming Industry”… Join the data streaming community and stay informed about new blog posts by subscribing to my newsletter)

General trends in the gaming industry

The global gaming market is bigger than the music and film industries combined! Digitalization plays a huge factor for the growth in the past years. The gaming industry has various business models connecting players, fans, vendors, and other stakeholders:

  • Hardware sales: Game consoles, VR sets, glasses
  • Game sales: Physical and digital
  • Free-to-play + in-game purchases: One-time in-game purchases (skins, champions, miscellaneous), gambling (loot boxes)
  • Game-as-a-service (subscription): Seasonal in-game purchases like passes for theme events, mid-season invitational & world championship, passes for competitive play
  • Game-Infrastructure-as-a-Service: High-performance state synchronization, multiplayer, matchmaking, gaming statistics
  • Merchandise sales: T-shirts, souvenirs, fan equipment
  • Community: Esports broadcast, ticket sales, franchising fees
  • Live betting



Kai Waehner

Technology Evangelist — → Big Data Analytics, Data Streaming, Apache Kafka, Middleware, Microservices =>