Hi - A few colleagues and I have some time, money and are interested in setting up a gaming hosting service on Amazon AWS, using very high server config. Has anyone experience of this, in your opinion is there a gap in the market?
There are a lot of people that have set up gaming server; though whether they'll share their experiences (to a possible competitor) are another question :-)
Have you done any research to determine if there's a gap in the market? What are you offering exactly? Compare what you're setting up vs. what's already available. If there are competing services in existence, you'll need to determine what will differentiate yours from the rest.
Gaming hosting is something I don't know too much about. However there are niches/markets you can create with mosts types of hosting, you just have to target small groups at first. From experience (not much) the gaming host in market is big, however probably easier than targeting the mass market normal hosting. Have you thought about targeting to a specific type of game? That may be better in the beginning to get customers throw the doors (Or website more like ), so you can get a solid base, then diversify into the broader general gaming market. Also, I think you mentioned going high-end? Thats a good place to start too, offering something premium for customers is separation you from a part of the market, so you can advertise better.
I have a couple of friends who own/work a game hosting company, let me tell you its not cheap and it involves alot of hard work.
The main issue with gaming servers is the game developers are limiting providers who can sell their gaming servers, in recent months some of the top GSP have lost access to be able to EA ranked servers.
It is alot of fun but be prepared to invest time and money into this.
I ran a GSP back in the day until ranked servers came out and I was on the waiting list...forever. There is definitely a market out there but establishing a brand name can be tough, it took a while for us to establish ours back in the day. Once you establish a solid brand name, sales will come through on their own but make sure you keep a close eye on your servers because those clients will drop you quickly.
My advice would be to keep costs low, don't try to compete on price but rather reliability and user experience. Automate as much as you can to help you better scale out, I believe TCAdmin is still around, take a look into that. I'm sure there are some GSP's on the forum that can offer more up to date advice.
Players of old games, us old timers are very dedicated to the games we grew up with. Some of those games do not have a ready made process that is advertised on how to set up a online server like the new games have.
So if you know how to set up those old games on a server then you will probably get our business because we live and breath our old games. Such as COJ (call of juarez) and Ghost Recon just to name a few.
We shopped around for a some game ded servers and we could not find anything in the USA that was under $90 a month, Canada was better at about $45 a month..
So i guess the overall point here is you have to be invoved in gameing enough to know where the niche is, where the die hards are, where the need is regarding what game and what people still play that game.
Also dont forget that ping is everything, most of us in the USA have to play UK or overseas servers because thats where the games are that we play and the ping is horrible so we get run over by people there that have 20 or 30 ping and we have 150 or more. If based in the USA that is also a benefit if you can provide great ping for some of these older games.
We tried to set up a server for COJ (first version) but its one of those games that you have to know how to do it, there are not written instructions on how to set it up, its not hard from what i have heard, but there is a special process and you either know how or you dont.