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Private Servers – the cold hard truth

Damian Reed
15. April 2020
5 min

“Private servers don’t cost studios money, they save money – in fact they can actually make money”

Roberto Omezzolli CEO of GPORTAL

The above was a statement made by the CEO of GPORTAL in a recent meeting. For me, it was a ‘eureka’ moment — as the evangelist for GPORTAL, I have been thinking of elaborate ways to convey the message of private servers to studios and developers, and in one sentence, he summed it up more succinctly and straightforwardly than I had ever thought to.

Private Servers do not cost money

GPORTAL makes a profit from players renting servers. If server files are available for companies like us, and it’s a game that will attract players, we host the game. I recently spoke to a studio who had provided server files for their latest title and weren’t even aware that GPORTAL had 140 servers already running with the game! Each server had a minimum of 40 slots, so we are talking about potentially thousands of players playing their game, but as it didn’t have an impact on their financial outgoings, they weren’t aware. They had all these players for free.

GPORTAL do not charge studios for private servers; our revenue is gained from players renting these servers. We have 10,000 visitors to our site daily, so allowing GPORTAL to host private servers opens your game to many potential players. Once we have server files, the process is very quick, and we can have servers hosting your game within 24 hrs.

Private Servers save money

To reiterate, private servers do not cost studios anything; the fact that private servers save money but many studios don’t understand this, baffles me constantly. There are still some game developers and studios that believe the best way to enable online play is to use a peer2peer solution.

To read more about peer2peer and multiplayer solutions, click here

Many studios believe that, as there are no additional costs for the studio and most players accept the low multiplayer quality, peer2peer is the best solution. They are wrong! Peer2peer is frustrating: it’s highly unstable and often results in disconnects, lag, game stuttering and poor performance — take a look at this article as a great example. Social media has allowed players to be heard, and some game studios are now listening to their complaints and issues. Games are being modified and moulded by gamer feedback, and it will only be a matter of time before peer2peer is extinct.

To have the best online user experience, game studios need to provide dedicated servers — but these come at a cost. To have serviced physical servers around the world costs money. There’s also the uncertainty around the number of servers needed to cope with launch and how many servers to have once that peak has declined. There’s also the chance that a game will become successful after launch, just like Escape from Tarkov. If you aren’t aware, the game launched a couple of years ago and has had a steady following. That was until a Twitch streamer called Dr Disrespect started playing the game. The Dr has 20 million followers on Twitch, and overnight, Escape from Tarkov exploded. At the time, they couldn’t cope with the sudden surge in players and were buying servers, left, right and centre — all at a significant cost. If Battlestate Games had allowed players to rent their own private servers, much of the load and cost would have fallen on the gamers themselves.

As it turned out, GPORTAL did help: as fans of the game ourselves, we had the resources to provide several dedicated servers to help with the player increase.

Private Servers make money

We’ve established that private servers don’t cost studios anything and in certain circumstances they can save money too – but how can YOU make money from private servers?

This article explains it in more detail, but briefly put, we pay you for players playing your game on our servers. The more popular your game is, the more we pay you.

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Typically, I’ve taken a very clear and concise sentence and made it into an article, which should explain in more detail how private servers work. But if you are still missing the point, remember this: “Private servers don’t cost studios money; they save money – in fact, they can actually make money”. Roberto Omezzolli GPORTAL CEO and genius.

Talk to GPORTAL about private servers here


Damian Reed

Damian is a business development manager at GPORTAL, who provide private and official game servers to game developers, studios, and gamers.

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