Treehouse worked directly with game companies to engage their fans in creative ways. They flipped the conventional video game merchandise industry on its head by creating official gear that is nuanced, thoughtful, and of exceptional quality, featuring relationships with Electronic Arts, Bethesda, Microsoft, Take Two, and Activision. They also built and operated customized online stores where fans can get their fix in one place.
Challenge - Initial Performance
Treehouse Brand Stores initially came to us with a simple problem -- every day, all properties would have significant downtime. It happened at the same time every day, and there was seemingly no reason for it. This is a perfect scenario for SUMO Heavy to onboard a new client. We quickly assisted them in acquiring the tools to understand the issue and realized that it was hidden in plain sight.
After migrating to a new platform, the previous team had developed a solution that would perform a search when a 404 (Page Not Found) error would normally be served. The solution would break apart the URL search parameter into keywords. There was not a robust search solution implemented at the time, so this was a rigorous task for the system to handle. Based on the frequency and inbound traffic analysis, we understood that the reason this happened every day was due to search engines crawling the sites, and performing a massive number of searches.
We solved this issue by implementing redirects of the previous platform’s product pages and removing the solution that performed searches. This immediately stopped downtime due to inbound crawler traffic and opening the door to a revenue stream during those hours the site would normally be down.
Challenge - SLA and Licensing
The previous team who migrated Treehouse Brand Stores to a new platform made two distinct decisions:
• Having Treehouse purchase the enterprise edition of the platform
• Setting up all properties on one install of the platform
The chosen platform, Magento, had a per-server licensing structure. To save on licensing costs, the previous development partner had created a single install with all properties in it. This created a dually-problematic scenario where:
• If one property required high throughput, the solution could not scale
• If one property received too much traffic and went down,
all properties would go down
Our approach is always business-first. Taking these facts into account, and the fact that Magento did not have cloud-based licensing at the time we came up with a solution that works to this day.
We developed a migration path and solution that would move all properties to separate, community edition installs. A single codebase was shared across all properties, so the biggest challenge was the migration. This happened in a short period of time, and by the next holiday season, we were running on multiple instances of the community edition of Magento. We worked with our client to ensure all PCI compliance measures were still met regarding the software and creating modules to handle the strict requirements of PCI Level 1. The solution is now running on the cloud and has met the needs of the business since.
This resolved issues with SLAs where one site going down would take others down, as well as reducing the TCO by removing licensing fees altogether.
Challenge - Large Volume
When Bethesda Softworks released Fallout 4, it was an instant hit. Treehouse, who is well-known for producing collector’s editions for games, knew what to do. The plan was to work with Bethesda to create a limited, wearable Pip-Boy.
This product came with high demand, and we had to use the new scalable foundation to get through it. Working with teams internal to Treehouse, as well as the hosting partner, we were able to achieve load-tested throughput of 10 orders/second.
Migrating one large Magento Enterprise edition to multiple Community edition stores allowed Treehouse to resolve performance issues,helped lower costs, and allow each site to scale separately.
Treehouse was acquired by ThinkGeek, and finally by GameStop.
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