Virgin Gaming picks Peer 1 to reach one million users

A Toronto-based online gaming company expects to grow its global membership of gamers to more than a million now that it has the infrastructure to support that target.

Virgin Gaming—a platform that facilitates online gamers of PlayStation and Xbox Live to interact with other players, schedule matches and validate games—is moving out of its startup mode following a partnership with Virgin earlier this year.

“We’re definitely anticipating over a million members in the near future,” said Billy Levy, president of Virgin Gaming. The company currently has about 100,000 registered members globally.

In operation for three years, Virgin Gaming was called World Gaming before its partnership with Virgin.

Virgin Gaming was using a smaller infrastructure provider until the realization that growth targets would not be possible with existing space and service limitations. The company moved to a larger infrastructure provider, Vancouver-based Peer 1 Hosting, and virtualized its servers in the hosting provider’s newest data centre in Toronto.

“We expect the business to grow and we need somebody who can grow with us,” said Ijaaz Ullah, director of IT with Virgin Gaming. “We want to get as many people online as we can.”

The company of 40 has 15 dedicated IT staff.

Robert Miggins, senior vice-president of business development with Peer 1 Hosting said the gaming market, defined by apps for social gaming such as those for Facebook and mobile devices, is a growing area for the infrastructure provider.

“We’re increasingly seeing gaming come up as a larger vertical for us,” said Miggins.

Network performance is particularly important for online gaming companies who must have the infrastructure resources to support users, said Miggins. “High latency on the network will make it difficult for you to be a successful gamer,” he said.

While Virgin Gaming is at this point only hosting its infrastructure in a single data centre, Miggins said online gaming companies generally prefer to distribute resources across multiple geographies.

Follow Kathleen Lau on Twitter: @KathleenLau

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