Why Gaming Needs An Edge (2019)

By Alan Evans, EDGE GRAVITY by Ericsson

The gaming industry generated almost 140B USD in 2018 (Newzoo Global Games Market Report 2018/2019). It has over taken the entertainment genre of choice for many consumers both young and old, so the need for a high quality of experience has become undeniable; if the experience is poor then the game will not be successful.

The pursuit of high performance is no longer the sole domain of the PC gamer; where thousands of dollars are invested in the latest GPUs and cooling systems to deliver the greatest clock speeds and frames per second.

Rendering performance is only part of the challenge. For many gamer consumers, the performance requirement is focused on the multiplayer experience, where poor performance means poor latency, lost packets and unpredictable jitter, which translates to a laggy experience, poor game play, lost competitive matches, frustration, and abandoned game titles. Our research shows trend where blame for this poor performance is often left with internet service provider.

The concern with quality of experience (QoE) when traversing the internet is not limited to competitive experiences, PvP (Player Vs Player), it also applies to PvE (Player Vs Environment) as well. Failed collaborative experiences where a social network of gamers (aka, Group, Guild, Org, Clan or Faction) are working together on an objective for several hours is just as frustrating as a competitive match, and perhaps for some even more so.

In addition, the Quality of Experience also has an impact on the commercial aspects of the game as well.

Many of the most successful titles today fall into the category of “free to play”. Some of the most popular being of a “Battle Royale” game type, are of course demanding on the game play performance, but also on the in-game e-commerce, analytics, business intelligence and ultimately a shift to a reoccurring revenue of the traditional one-off purchase. If these less-graphical aspects of the game are affected by poor performance, then the game will not be able to generate revenue from its audience and the game will be a failed investment for the developer.

In this paper we will explore the statement, “why gaming needs an edge”. We will consider the classification of gamers and how they lend themselves to different game architecture. We will also explore the intersection of gaming and media, eSports, and how the broadband service provider edge can play a role in delivering the experience needed. We will explore the role of a Service Provider, gaming performance metrics and our research as it pertains to gaming acceleration at the Edge.

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