In the last few years, the number of products targetted at gamers has risen exponentially. Normally these are normal goods but with a new coat of 'SO RAD AND XTREME' paint. They can get performance supplements, spikey RAM sticks and other accessories. Hell, even Ikea is making gaming chairs. IKEA!
The latest gamer-focused product is Ghost, a broadband service designed with this demographic in mind run by telecoms firm Structured Communications. We caught up with CEO Chris Dale to see what the score is
What's the pitch behind Ghost?
Ghost Gamer Broadband was developed from our UK business-grade network and adapted for the gaming community. As gamers, we noticed that when we installed our own business grade broadband at home, games and patches downloaded quicker, gameplay was more responsive, and hosting was reliable. Gaming just felt better, and we started winning more. So, we thought ‘why not let other gamers have access to this?’ and so Ghost Gamer Broadband was born.
Why do you think that gamers need their own broadband?
Digital and online gaming sales now account for the largest revenue in UK gaming, making up $2.1bn of the market in 2017 [Ed - of a total of £5.11bn] according to Ukie, doubling that of boxed software. With the global software market expected to grow by £50bn in three years and the inclusion of bandwidth-hungry 4K enhanced games, Virtual reality gaming and stream based gaming, a specialised high-performance gamer broadband has never played a bigger role.
People who are serious about their games will want the optimum standard on everything. Serious gamers want the best mouse, graphics cards, processors, hardware and the latest consoles. They know these can make a tangible difference to their gaming experience and we feel the same about Ghost Gamer Broadband. It simply is the best domestic broadband connection for gaming in the UK.
How does this differ from regular broadband?
Many High Street ISPs choose to prioritise a few types of traffic over others which can result in bottlenecking. Subsequently, gamers can experience extended times downloading games & updates as well as general poor in-game performance. We have intentionally tuned our network for gamers needs and selected transit carriers to move traffic between external networks to keep latency low, increasing in-game performance and faster downloads. Our internal and external uplinks are made up of multiple, diverse 10Gbps fibre circuits for maximum uptime. This ensures you are kept online to the highest possible standard.
The streaming or subscription service model has made something of a resurgence in the last year or so. Do you see this as being the future of games?
There are clear correlations between the gaming, music and film industry. Both film and music have been revolutionised in recent years with the likes of Netflix, Spotify and Apple Music dominating their respective fields. Netflix added 7.5 million new customers in the first quarter of the year alone. We think the gaming industry will mirror this with streaming sites blossoming which will bring only further demand for specialised gaming broadband.
Gamers will need to future-proof their broadband with the ever-increasing balance of streaming platform games becoming more prominent. To avoid being left behind with high street providers, Ghost Gamer Broadband has built our network with streaming in mind delivering maximum bandwidth through every connection.
Can you tell me a bit about how the service is going to be marketed?
We have a great product but nobody knows us yet. We know that we need to build trust between us and gamers. The tangible difference to gamers that Ghost Gamer Broadband delivers will make a real difference but it’s hard to prove before you install it. So we’ll be working with esports teams, charities and other grassroots gaming organisations to start building that trust. We’ll also be launching an Influencer program as we believe that, if we can prove the difference to that Ghost Broadband makes to them, they will help us spread the word. On top of that, we’ll be continuing discussions with leading developers and publishers about potential partnerships.
We don’t have the marketing spends of other telecoms companies as we are a specialist product, this means we want to grow hand-in-hand with the industry and our partners, we believe that building trust is much more important than blitzing people with
When is the service rolling out? How much is it going to cost?
Ghost Gamer Broadband is now live and taking orders, which has only further highlighted the need for specialised gaming broadband as we have not yet officially launched. Our most popular broadband, fibre broadband, costs £39.99 ($52.50) per month inc vat on a 12-month contract. You can find more details at www.ghostgb.co.uk
What's the ambition for Ghost?
Ghost Gamer Broadband wants to be the gamer broadband of choice. We aim to be in every gamer’s household allowing us to continually develop our product and grow to a point where we can support gaming charities and gamers from grass root level and one day our own Ghost esports team.