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The Challenge of Running Dedicated Servers for Gamers

With the massive growth of mobile gaming over the last five years and a consistent fascination with the newest console, PC Gaming is often overlooked by publications and writers. There is no doubt that mobile gaming has exploded and that console gaming continues to be a robust sector of gaming, but we at OBEK Technologies were born from our love of PC Gaming.

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(If you don't know anything about how online multiplayer gaming occurs, may I recommend an entertaining short video on Youtube by Gameranx.) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IoOrY-MPVzw&t=66s

Dedicated server ownership and hosting was a very large topic in the early days of the internet when there were no industry leaders, the concept of eSports was a distant future, and the internet speed of the time would be laughable (and unbelievably frustrating) today.

As the internet continues to proliferate today, gaming morphs into what is almost certainly going to be the biggest sport category in the world soon, and a war rages between PC, Mobile, and Console gaming, dedicated server owners are being left behind.

Running a dedicated server for a small group of gamers or for one of the largest CS:GO communities requires money. The more servers, the better the servers, the more games, the better the website, all require more money.

Most dedicated server operators are able to fund a dedicated server rental or purchase a server by self-funding with their own money or asking their community of gamers for regular donations. If you go to nearly any CS:GO community website you will see a tab like this:

Donate

The average server costs anywhere between $50-$150 (USD) a month to rent, so one individual can generally cover the costs of a dedicated server. However, when you start adding in website charges, maintenance, game updates/purchases, and most importantly time, the costs continue to rise. Adding more servers and more games adds to the complexity of running a dedicated server network.

The options available to running a dedicated server or server(s) are pretty broad ranging from renting a server "out of the box ready to go" from a provider such as gameservers.com to renting a "bare-metal" server that you have to setup entirely on your own.

The number one problem though that we find consistently across every conversation with dedicated server operators is the cost necessary to run the servers.

Most dedicated server operators raise money in (3) primary ways:

  1. Donations
  2. Admin/VIP Subscription Perks
  3. Advertising

The problem with #1 and #2 is that for the most part a dedicated server operator is "eating their own." Gamers only have so much money to donate a year and there are only so many tournaments and t-shirts that a gamer is interested or able in participating in.

The problem with #3 is that advertising in gaming, especially PC gaming, has been poorly executed by marketers. No one on the internet today expects to not see advertisements, the problem with advertising in PC gaming is that is has been an annoyling intrusive form of advertising instead of through gamer engagement.

There is nothing more frustrating to a gamer than to be wearing your headphones and joining a game than to have your ear-drums blasted by a Soda or Deoderant advertising in a horribly ill-fitting webinterface format that you can't turn the volume down on.

Here is an example of a butter advertisement just before joining a CS:GO game on a server that shall remain nameless:
5fTF

There is a better alternative to raise money for dedicated server operators while maintaining the tastefulness of PC gaming. https://www.obek.com/ with its partner https://motdmod.com/ has launched a completely free Message of the Day Software product that dedicated server operators can install and earn money while engaging with their gamers.

Mike

Part of the Mad-Duo who started OBEK Technologies.

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