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Paid Virtual Private Server Hosting for Game Developers/Gamers

by on May.22, 2014, under Musings, On Game Development

While testing a previous project, I identified what I think may be an opportunity in the VPS** server reselling market. I needed to test the multiplayer component of a project I was working on, but it was too early to hire beta testers or rent a dedicated server*. I could have just asked a friend to test the game, but in the long run, this wouldn’t be a sustainable testing strategy.
The problem is that most of the VPS servers out there are not fast enough for real time computer games, they are optimised for static data, databases, web servers, etc, and not dynamic data, such as games. There are many game servers available for rental, but most of these allow hosting of only specific games. One could rent a Minecraft server, or a Call of Duty server, for example, but only that game could be played on that server.

There are very few VPS hosting options for games, and I have not seen any pitched at the Game Development community. I think that a service like this could work, it would provide the ability for smaller game development companies and individuals to test and release their games, without having to incur the expense of hiring a complete dedicated server.

For developers of casual games, facebook games, or independent projects which feature multiplayer support, this kind of service could be vital.

Prices for gaming dedicated servers are higher than for non-gaming servers, but are still relatively inexpensive.

The only problem with VPS’s is that latency would become a problem (high latency is what causes the notorious “lag” in online gaming).  This would require the physical dedicated server to be located as close as possible to the majority of users, which could be a problem given the wide geographic distribution of game developers and gamers.

* A Dedicated Server is a physical server, located in a data center.

** A VPS, or Virtual Private Server, is essentially a chunk of a dedicated server. Instead of renting the entire physical machine itself, a customer rents a small part of the machine, and has access to only the CPU, RAM, and Hard Disk resources of that part. In this way, a single dedicated server can be divided up into many VPS servers and sold to multiple clients, who may not need or want the resources of a full server.

 

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