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About hosting local servers for PC gaming

MWEB GameZone PC servers.jpg

With the pending release of every online multiplayer game, we get bombarded with that most important question - "Will there be South African servers for the game." The answer is not a simple "yes" or "no", and it also varies depending on several issues. On the one hand, distributors can't expect customers to pre-order games if the game in question relies heavily on a stable ping and low latency. The upcoming Battlefield 1 and Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare are two such games.

On the other hand, before we can roll out servers there are a plethora of details between several parties that need approval and agreement. Our customers deserve some explanation about the complicated process, and below you'll find those answers in a FAQ format.

There are two things we want you to keep in mind as a rule that applies to every online PC game. We will always use every resource available to us to:

  1. acquire servers for online PC games
  2. make sure the servers provide the best possible gaming experience

Some MWEB GameZone server hosting history

GameZone launched in 1998.

Our online multiplayer gaming community was the first of its kind in Africa with the deployment of the first dedicated game servers namely; Karoo, Kalahari & Namib that hosted Quake 2. Popularity grew and soon other titles such as Half-Life deathmatch, Unreal Tournament, Tribes and of course Counter Strike Beta joined the fray. On Valentine’s day in 2000, Headspace Studios webcast the world’s first ever online Quake wedding hosted on our servers. It was also the first SA gaming initiative to receive international media interest!

We were the first South African Internet Service Provider to host Dota 2 servers. We were the first (and currently still the only) to bring CS: GO matchmaking to local gamers. We were the first to host Battlefield 4 servers."

source: MWEB GameZone Goes Responsive: A New Look

We are also South Africa's biggest game server host, see here for a list of our servers, and here for an in-depth explanation of how we manage gaming traffic.

Why doesn't MWEB host servers for every online PC game?

It's not up to us which games get hosted. Gameservers.com secures the contracts; so if, and when, they get new games to host they make it available.

Is gameservers.com the only organization that can get servers for SA?

It's who we have a contract with, other ISP's might use a different organization.

Who ultimately decides which countries can host servers?  

The game publisher, for example:

  • Activision for Call of Duty
  • EA for Battlefield, Titanfall, FIFA, Battlefront
  • Blizzard for Overwatch, World of Warcraft, StarCraft, HotS, Diablo
  • Microsoft for Gears of War, Halo
  • Bethesda for DOOM, Quake Champions, TESO

The publisher has server hosting agreements with companies like gameservers.com, Multiplay, and few others. If an agreement is reached between all the relevant parties, then servers can be rolled out in the countries with the required infrastructure.

How do servers work for developers like Valve?

We can approach them directly. As explained here, other things come into play. We have limited control over the servers as it's hosted by MWEB GameZone but managed by Valve.

FAQ ends.

The above FAQ proves a basic outline of how server acquisition works, with the bottom line being - we'll announce server details as soon as we have all the details and received a go-ahead from our partner. 

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