The term ‘video games’ probably evokes something different for everyone. For some they’re an escape from reality and a way to decompress with some fun at the end of the day. For others they’re a career (whether that’s a career in playing for streamers or a career in creating for animators, programmers or designers). There are probably also some that just see video games as something they wish their children or significant others did less of. Regardless of the history or place anyone has in the world of gaming, it’s undeniable that this avenue of entertainment has a lot to offer for both innovation and entertainment.
When we think of gaming from an IT sense, we often think of cloud gaming. This has become a type of ‘final frontier’ of the moment in the world of gaming entertainment, but it’s not the end game it might seem to be. In fact, the world is already taking the next big step (literally) into an era of hyperscale gaming. Hyperscale gaming is creating a whole new set of requirements due to an array of new philosophies in the way games are being built and played — and gaming companies need leveled-up critical infrastructure to support that trajectory.
Leaving the Box, Building a Platform
In the past, video games lived in your home. They were contained in the box (the physical gaming component) that sat on your TV console, or they were contained on a disk that you then loaded into your PC. Any processing or compute that was needed had no reason or ability to leave those containers. Obviously, this isn’t the world we live in anymore. Now, games live in the cloud, and computing takes place in the data center. This enables more collaborative and expansive experiences for users.
Cloud gaming utilizes remote servers stored in the data center, and that means users don’t have to download or install any software to enjoy the experiences they’re looking for. In this sense, cloud gaming deployments work well in a traditional colocation environments with all the traditional accoutrements: High-density capabilities, high-volume networks, peering fabrics, etc. However, there’s a new breed of games that are taking this method further.
The most innovative gaming companies are leaving behind any remnants of the ‘system’ approach from days of true console gaming, instead creating entire platforms. These platforms, in their most unique iterations, focus on providing the specialized environment within which users can craft their experience, gaining the agency to enrich their gaming with exactly what they want in exactly the way they want it. This is what the Metaverse is aiming at — a world where users have the ability to create content within the game’s universe that other users can buy, sell and utilize — but other gaming platforms are already unlocking play in this way.
Of course, this generates the need for a new model of data center deployments that is specialized for gaming companies. Luckily, there are data center providers out there that can align the data center procurement process exactly with this new gaming philosophy.
Data Center Solutions That Play to Gaming’s Strengths
Hyperscale gaming platforms are architecting their data center foundations the way hyperscale cloud providers are — with multiple points of presence in any given availability zone, a wholesale model, and an even greater focus on latency than ever (we’re talking <2ms from an internet exchange point). Cloud gaming companies looking to operate at the hyperscale level in order to deliver the most seamless, lag-less experiences need a model that can offer it all: from energy expertise to keep costs controlled to site selection insights that can help them place their deployments as strategically as possible. Not to mention, they need providers that can overcome any supply chain issues to let their exponential growth and scalability demands remain uninterrupted.
This model often needs heavy capital investments upfront to ensure gaming companies can keep up with demand ( for example, cater to high peak usage periods) and experiential requirements for users — which makes choosing the right data center partner absolutely crucial.
At Stream, we’re able to offer data centers in the exact way gaming companies need them. We match the visionary “we’ll provide the specialized environment, you build it to your exact liking” philosophy that gaming itself is moving progressively toward. This means a wholesale environment that gaming companies can practically own and customize, rack and stack with high-density deployments as demanded and grow at will. It’s space, power and connectivity backed by ultimate flexibility and consultative support.
We provide industry-leading site selection solutions that help gaming organizations optimize a mix of geographical location, connectivity infrastructure and power availability, plus tax incentives, land value and more. We also provide energy procurement support, helping customers mitigate the risk of price hikes and power disruption while achieving your sustainability goals and optimizing spend to preserve stability and future growth.
The cherry on top, however, is our level of consultative collaboration. To avoid supply chain constraints, we work with our clients to partner with suppliers and bring in contracts that directly support unique gaming deployments. If our customer has a preferred vendor, we’ll bring them in. We’ve even gone so far as to look at existing customer deployments in other facilities so we can follow their preferred model as needed. That’s what ‘work hard, play hard’ looks like in action.
To learn more about how Stream can empower cloud and hyperscale gaming deployments, click here.