As LeaseWeb USA is revving up to be part of the great success that is the Game Developers Conference (GDC) in San Francisco next week (March 1st through March 3rd), understanding why LeaseWeb is a proud exhibitor is something I’d like to dive into.
For starters, we are excited to share details of LeaseWeb’s services and hosting platform at the largest annual conference of professional video game developers. These gatherings are always an opportunity to have deeper conversations that really focus on the best solutions for their true needs.
We are happy to be bringing a game developer and customer, Citadel Studios, along with us. Citadel is relying on LeaseWeb to host its new game and is also part of the LeaseWeb Startups Program, which provides financial and technical support to high-potential startups that allows them to quickly build and scale their new businesses utilizing LeaseWeb’s Global Hybrid Infrastructure.
Because gaming companies have so many different performance and scalability requirements for online games, it’s impossible to create a one-size-fits-all infrastructure for them. Different platforms (mobile/tablet, PC and console) and different business models (Pay-to-Play, Free-to-Play, etc) mean that every gaming company has different needs when it comes to technology, scalability and performance. This is why LeaseWeb has a targeted approach towards the gaming industry and offers a full portfolio of tailored solutions in datacenters around the globe to customers including Ubisoft, Capcom, Crytek, Hi-Rez Studios and Creative Assembly. Our approach helps gaming companies balance risks and costs in order to capitalize quickly on a successful game.
The last few years have seen the rapid rise of e-gaming as a popular sport, thanks to streaming services like Twitch and the growing legions of dedicated fans and players. Popular games like League of Legends and Dota 2 now host massive tournaments that offer substantial rewards for players. In fact, the Dota 2 tournament in 2015 offered a prize of more than $6.5 million to the winning team, a testament to the incredible popularity of online gaming.
The uptick in demand for online gaming creates a challenge for game developers.
Gaming companies have to be able to adjust their infrastructure according to a wide range of variables, accommodate for fluctuation in demand while at the same time delivering content at lightning-fast speeds. In a market where downtime or sluggish performance means ‘game over’ for players and developers alike, gaming companies need to ensure that they offer maximum speed and reliability.
As any gamer will tell you, the most frustrating game play experience is “lag,” the result of high latency in content delivery. A recent study LeaseWeb conducted found that more than half of gamers experience unplanned server outages while playing games, and 84 percent of online gamers have had games freeze or crash on them while in the middle of game play. This kind of experience is a literal deathblow within the game, and can obliterate customer retention as well. Lagging, crashing or freezing is often taken as an indicator of a poorly designed game or carelessness on the part of the developer.
Fortunately, LeaseWeb offers a comprehensive set of solutions that allow game publishers to deliver the best possible experience to their players through an innovative five-part approach.
- Low latency and high reliability. When every millisecond counts, it’s important for your network to deliver information as quickly as possible. Our network, one of the largest in the world, delivers a 5.5 Tbps bandwidth capacity and a core uptime of 99.9999%, reducing latency by substantial margins for our gaming customers with state of the art regional data centers. With our extensive existing network, which now includes 10 U.S. data centers with our recent acquisition of Ubiquity Hosting, we have points of presence across the country, providing maximum speed and low latency for gamers across the continental United States.
- Improved performance, increased revenues. Our next-generation Content Delivery Networksdeliver your games at lightning-fast speeds to feed this massive market. And the better the experience, the greater your success.
- Tailored performance optimization. It’s no secret that different workloads perform better on different architectures. We provide a choice of powerful dedicated servers, public and private clouds or hybrid solutions to deliver your games in the most efficient way.
- Scalability that responds to market and usage realities. When a game takes off the surge in demand can be overwhelming. LeaseWeb allows you to scale up or down with demand, deploying new virtual or dedicated servers with ease. This allows you to manage costs effectively by only paying for the infrastructure you need.
- The agility of a start-up, industry-leading speed and infrastructure. Thanks to our agility and the ability to respond to individual customer needs, we pride ourselves on thinking and operating like a startup while still providing the low latency of many larger service providers. Because our data centers are close to your end users and connected to the global LeaseWeb network, we’re able to provide an advantage for companies that rely on real-time data transmission while offering services that compete or exceed those of even the largest global infrastructure providers.
Together, this approach allows us to deliver high definition, multi-player games globally with the speed and availability required for a seamless gaming experience, and continue delivering that same experience no matter how much demand grows.
A guestblog By Shay Hugi, CEO of Sunset Games.
Picture this. You are a tank gunner chasing an elusive enemy. Finally you have them cornered. You take aim to blow them to smithereens… And your screen stutters and freezers. Not good. That’s why we chose LeaseWeb to make sure that does not happen to any of our players.
Gamescom is currently in full swing, and of course the LeaseWeb gaming experts are present to tell you all about Hosting for Gaming. With that in mind, we thought it would be a good time to showcase one of our esteemed customers, game developer and publisher Reto-Moto.
Reto-Moto is based in Copenhagen, specializing in the creation of innovative online entertainment software. The company was founded in 1997 and instantly created IO Interactive, the joint-venture operation with Nordisk Film which went on to create the multi-million selling Hitman and Freedom Fighters franchises.
As web gaming is growing, more and more needs to be taken into consideration when designing a new game or platform. This sentiment is underlined by a recent quote from John Carmack: “I can send an IP packet to Europe faster than I can send a pixel to the screen. How f*d up is that?”
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What is the most cost efficient way to manage infrastructure for the increasingly popular Free-to-play model?
Free to Play, often abbreviated to F2P, means you can play a game without paying a dime for it. Sounds great doesn’t it? Some industry experts say that F2P might be the first step towards a totally new gaming market. Until then, some games start out as a Pay to Play version (like DC Universe Online, Age of Conan or League of Legends), who later switch to F2P. Other games are designed with F2P in mind, like the recently released Tribes: Ascend. The F2P model is one that truly provides a win-win outcome for gaming companies and players alike.
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For this reason, we’re full of speculation as to what the year will hold for the industry, but here’s our take on it:
The doors have closed on Game Connection Europe 2011, where the gaming industry was out in full force to share ideas and visions on the latest developments in MMOs, console-based games and mobile. Since 2001 GameConnection has been the place to be for video games professionals. It gathers key players from the game industry twice a year, in Europe and in the US, to help them do business together, connect, share and socialize in a lively environment.
Welcome to the fourth and final article in our short series of blog posts on hosting for the online gaming industry. With one day of GameConnection Europe left (LeaseWeb’s booth is #220), we would like to discuss one final piece of the MMO hosting puzzle: getting the right price to host your online games.