Virtual Hosting Environments for Online Gaming
The Virtual Hosting Environment (VHE) is an advanced Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) environment where business services can be integrated with one another across organisational boundaries and domains. The VHE also provides the means to virtualize the environment where the business servicesoperate. There are two keys areas to be considered as background for this experiment. The proof of concept aimed to provide a novel business service provision solution for online gaming. Online gaming relates to any form of game played over a network with one or more players. It involves in its simplest form a minimum of two computers (that of the player and the game server). In its more advanced form, it uses entire sets of servers, dedicated storage, and playing platforms for massive multiplayer online games (MMOG). The increasing reach of the Internet, the soaring number of connected homes, and the wider choice in technology have contributed to online gaming’s rapid growth. The Internet now offers an ever richer palette of games. The gaming industry is thriving: this was true in 2006 at the start of this Business Experiment. According to report by PricewaterhouseCoopers (2009), it is even more true today. Their report estimates that between late 2008 and 2013, the entire gaming market will grow by an average of 7.4 %, jumping from $51.4 billion in 2008 to $73.5 billion in 2013 (PricewaterhouseCoopers 2009). A recent Eurotechnology Japan report states that the Japan Gaming sector alone is booming with the combined net annual income of Japan’s top nine game companies overtaking the combined net income of Japan’s top 19 electrical giants (Eurotechnology Japan 2009). Online gaming in particular is powering the growth. In the USA, online gaming grew 22% year on year, while console game sales are expected to drop by as much as 20% year on year (comScore 2009). One of the key reasons is the cheapness of online games by comparison to console alternatives. This fuels a greater consumer demand for more readily-available, cheaper, and richer games. In Total Telecom Magazine (2009), Strategy Analytics states “Global revenues from PC and video game software reached more than US$46.5 billion in 2008, of which $6.4 billion or 22% of total revenues was derived from online channels”. In addition, “the online share of gaming is expected to continue to rise to an estimated one third of revenues in 2011/12” (Total Telecom Magazine 2009).
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