PLDT, online games publisher tie up
() - February 10, 2004 - 12:00am
With the immense popularity of online games here and the huge revenue streams that go with it, Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. (PLDT) has tied up with Level Up!, the country’s leading online games publisher, in creating the country’s biggest infrastructure for online content, particularly online games.

Ariel Roda, PLDT senior vice president and business development head, said PLDT developed this infrastructure for Level Up!, whose game Ragnarok, considered to be the hottest online game in the world today with three million subscribers, has already attracted some 80,000 players in the country.

Revenues for the local market for online games alone range from P100 million to P200 million a year and it is increasing proportionately with the growing popularity of such games.

"Online games are definitely creating a big wave here in the Philippines. This partnership is doubly significant because it contributes to the development of the local gaming industry and allows PLDT to develop solutions and products that would cater to the content needs of a growing business segment," Roda emphasized.

He further explained that PLDT now has the biggest single server farm in the country with over 200 processors just for Level Up!’s Ragnarok. A server farm is a collection of servers or high-capacity computers that serve as central workhorses in a large network of computers.

Ragnarok is a massively multiplayer online role-playing game, or MMORPG, about a fantasy world called Midgard where humans, demons, magic spells and gods rule the day. Since it is an MMORPG, it can accommodate thousands of players online all at the same time.

Being the publisher of the game here in the Philippines, Level Up! manages, hosts and organizes the game online.

Eric Alberto, PLDT SVP and corporate business group head, said this partnership includes co-location of Level Up!’s massive server farm for its games Ragnarok On-line and Oz World at a PLDT Telehousing facility, which currently allows over 40,000 players to log on simultaneously.

"PLDT and Level Up!’s joint efforts have also allowed for better quality of service to their subscribers through a huge bandwidth subscription, and an improved connection to Ragnarok and Oz World servers using PLDT’s I-Gate, PhIX and BRAINS networks. Consequently, Level Up! players, both at Internet cafes and at home through PLDT DSL or Vibe, get faster speeds and enjoy better game-play experience," Alberto added.

"This partnership between PLDT and Level Up! attests to the confidence that content providers have on PLDT’s ability to host and support big server and data storage farms," added George Lim, PLDT SVP and network services head. "It also enhances users’ experience of our customers by improving the speed at which they get to upload and download data."

Level Up! general manager Ben Colayco said the number of Ragnarok players in the country could peak at 34,000 simultaneous players on a Saturday. At any given time, there are at least 8,000 players online, usually at 4 a.m., and on a typical day at around 7 a.m., this number increases to 20,000 to 25,000 players.

"That’s a lot of Filipinos accessing local content. PLDT has allotted us the infrastructure to properly deliver content to them in a very affordable and accessible way. It expanded our reach to our users," he said. — Mary Ann Reyes

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