Filling the World with LPBs, One Gamer at a Time

It’s an insult that a gamer can handle with a shrug or a smile, whether or not it’s true. After all, no one gets called a “low-ping bastard” unless his or her play is remarkably good.

At Equinix, we want to help fill the world with low-ping bastards (LPBs). And so do most video game companies. Allow me to explain.

The Wall Street Journal reported Monday on how video game makers are spending millions to build faster networks for online games. The enemy they’re targeting is latency or “lag,” which is when a player’s data takes too long to reach game servers, “putting them out of sync with other gamers and potentially causing them to lose.” The “ping” in LPB comes from the method gamers use to evaluate these critical connections to game servers. They “ping” the servers with data requests and measure the time between when the data is sent out and when it comes back.

A gamer with a high 270 millisecond ping is not going to enjoy the same results as one with a low 40 millisecond ping. The latter gamer, as I help explain in the Journal, might well be called a “low-ping bastard.”

About.com notes that the low ping may give a player an “inflated ego” about his or her abilities. But it also indicates that competing players may use it as an excuse, to explain extraordinary results. Either way, we are dealing with great gameplay, which is what video game companies and we at Equinix want to help deliver.

The Journal article focuses on how companies such as Riot Games, Activision Blizzard and Electronic Arts are attacking lag by building their own private network backbones, to get their users’ data off the shared network routes that make up the Internet. It also notes another strategy for decreasing lag: locating servers closer to where large groups of their customers live. Equinix can help in both scenarios.

Equinix is home to more than 1,000 network service providers. That makes us the hub in most network architectures and the place to be when you’re trying to build your own network and create more LPBs.

We also operate more than 100 data centers in 32 markets on five continents, so we can get companies closer to gamers, wherever they are. Our Performance Hub offering, which enables businesses to locate their IT infrastructure inside any Equinix data center, is a critical way we do that. Better proximity means lower latency and more LPBs.

Then there’s Equinix Cloud Exchange, which allows our customers to connect simultaneously with their choice of 450+ cloud service providers. Its flexibility and scalability can help the growing cloud gaming market deliver a premium game experience and produce more LPBs.

We also host an expanding list of gaming and content service providers among the 4,500 companies inside Equinix. It’s a marketplace where gaming companies can make new collaborations and interconnections that improve their products and help create, you guessed it, more LPBs.

In fact, at Equinix, we look forward to when all gamers enjoy low-ping connectivity and the LPB term loses all meaning. Of course, a new insult will then be needed to explain away superior play. But we think the gaming community is up to the task.