The world’s fascination with online multiplayer games and esports is on the rise with entire ecosystems of game designers, developers, players, and sponsors engaged and dependent on critical infrastructure and reliable low-latency networks to ensure a smooth gaming or media streaming experience.
Latin America: A fast-growing market
According to GlobalData, the global video game market is predicted to become a $300 billion plus industry by 2025. The Latin America region is one of the fastest-growing markets for online games with Argentina, Brazil, and Mexico leading the race. According to a Research and Markets report, the whole region is expected to have a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 11.4%, leading to total revenue of about $6.29 billion by 2023.
Discussing the industry landscape, Guilherme Soubihe, CEO of Latitude.sh, a leading global bare metal cloud provider with many high-profile multiplayer online game and media streaming clients in Brazil said, “These markets require high bandwidth and an extremely low-latency, well-connected network that will give players and media consumers the best user experience possible.”
“Imagine that you’re playing along with your friends or competing in a tournament with millions of online supporters and followers. You are about to attack or defend – or make some critical move – and just at that moment, your character freezes. It’s a nightmare!” Soubihe says, “We get it!”
The impact of COVID-19
With extended quarantines and curfews, the pandemic generated a surge in online activities around the globe. Millions of people found themselves confined to their homes and online, video conferencing with colleagues, family members, and friends, watching streamed content, and playing more online video games.
Providers of critical infrastructure had to be ready to meet these additional digital requirements. Soubihe described the sudden spike in demand at Latitude.sh. “We were already experiencing a steady upward-trending demand for services in this area and then COVID-19 hit. Overnight, the demand doubled! Out of nowhere, customers in the video conferencing, gaming, and streaming industries started placing orders for new servers and extra bandwidth. Prior to the pandemic, we only experienced spikes with the release of a new game.”
Thanks to its powerful automated platform and its robust network backbone and throughput capacity, Latitude.sh was able to meet the increased demand.
Latitude.sh's highly automated platform allows users to provision servers in less than ten minutes, a timeframe that is unusually fast in the world of bare metal where deployments can often take up to 24 hours.
Through a single easy-to-use portal, users can specify locations and desired configurations for hundreds of servers. They can monitor usage and also take advantage of other functions such as customizing scripts during their OS setup.
During the pandemic period, Latitude.sh noticed an uptick in the use of self-service functions, revealing a desire on the part of users to become more self-sufficient and agile. Latitude.sh also experienced an increase in customers leveraging the automated platform to expand their business to the U.S. and Australia in a consolidated way. In addition to highlighting the importance of platform flexibility and usability, Soubihe places great emphasis on the importance of customer service. “Our personalized support and extensive knowledge about how these industries operate is a competitive advantage.”
Soubihe sees some new trends coming out of the COVID moment. He observes that the pandemic has given non-gamers the opportunity to discover the world of gaming, ultimately driving higher demand for the types of services Latitude.sh offers.
He also sees the demand for media streaming increasing as people discover new sources of movie streaming from smaller independent companies and as events such as concerts, shows, and sports are streamed in real-time.
Looking beyond COVID-19, Soubihe envisions that the future of work will capitalize on the developments that are being made currently with streaming and connectivity services. “Because it is a critical part of our lives and work right now, it is difficult to imagine operating without video conferencing in the future,” he says.
He believes that the advancements that have been made within the industry during this unprecedented time will endure as we gradually progress into post-COVID territory.