Online gaming in SA booming

2012-08-13 11:26
Gaming is growing on MWEB Gamezone. (Nielen Bottomley, News24)

Gaming is growing on MWEB Gamezone. (Nielen Bottomley, News24)

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VIDEO: Gaming in SA

2012-08-13 11:24

MWEB's Desmond Kurz chats about online gaming in SA in this YouTube video.WATCH

Cape Town - Online gaming in South Africa is growing at a tremendous speed, despite various limitations.

Internet service provider MWEB has hit three record months of gaming numbers in a row. July 2012 saw a total of 58 000 unique users playing online games on their network, a increase of around 30% from the previous year.

This number does not include casual games that use MWEB's ADSL, like those played on Facebook.

"It's nothing clever. We're looking after our customers. We're following the same trends from overseas," Desmond Kurz, MWEB's online gaming manager told News24.

MWEB is looking to double the number of users in a year's time. "A small fraction of people that have Xboxes or PlayStations in South Africa currently play online," said Kurz. "We believe it's on a steep growing curve."

MWEB's gaming portal, Gamezone, manages over 160 of its own dedicated gaming servers for over 50 titles. The tally increases to over 500 servers hosted on their network when their partners are taken into consideration.

All gaming traffic gets priority on the MWEB network, including traffic related to Xbox live, PlayStation network and all online games, said Kurz.

Limitations

Despite this growth, MWEB continually battles with infrastructure limitations and international content.

"We can’t always get the content local so we have to rely a lot on the international stuff," said Kurz. The servers of games like World of Warcraft are based in Europe and the US. MWEB acquired a large amount of international bandwidth that gives local gamers the capacity to play these games.

Kurz said they plan to get more South Africans into competitive gaming. The more gamers get noticed in the international community, the more concessions MWEB will get and be able to host more games locally.

News24 is part of 24.com, a subsidiary of Media24, which is in the Naspers stable. MWEB is a subsidiary of Naspers.



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