Level 3 Communications (NYSE:LVLT, news, filings) today announced an expanded relationship with Iceland-based CCP Games. The original deal announced back in March was for caching and download, origin storage, and content analytics for various gaming titles including the massively multiplayer game EVE Online. The expansion adds live online streaming for EVE Online's in-game Alliance Tournament VIII that has been underway for the last few weeks, the finals being this weekend.
Such competitions are becoming major bandwidth events, as exhibited by record breaking first week with 60,453 people online 'zooming around as starship pilots'. I have no experience with the game itself, but I had no idea our future interstellar air force had so many wiling recruits with, err, so much apparent free time.
Nevertheless, Level 3's CDN services continue to establish themselves in the gaming world. Perhaps their success in this segment is a manifestation of the low latency needs of gamers. Caching of data near end-users is a big part of it, but data still needs to go all the way to central servers for multiplayer games like this. Does Level 3's ownership of the network gives them an edge there?