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I made a really basic 2D RPG. I want to know whether I can turn it into a free to play MMO.

I cannot afford to rent a server with enough capacity to serve a big number of players but I'm wondering whether I could get a hosting plan that starts cheap but scales enough to eventually handle a big numer of users so I have minimum fixed costs and I can cover expenses on the go with ads or whatever.

Is there such a thing? Thanks

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Look up "elastic hosting". – Tetrad Jul 23 '11 at 5:54
Can I host a MMO on a regular elastic host? will it be profitable to do it or will I end up with an astronomic cost per month? – Lisandro Vaccaro Jul 23 '11 at 6:17
"A MMO" is a rather broad swath of games. EC2 pricing is explained here: A micro instance is practically free. Using metrics you can determine what size host you need given number of expected users. And given that user monetization model, you can determine how much you're netting after server costs. – Tetrad Jul 23 '11 at 6:25
@Tetrad You should make this an answer :) – bummzack Jul 23 '11 at 9:15
@Tetrad: I suspect you meant to post that as an Answer rather than a Comment -- if you move it to an Answer I will vote for it. – Randolf Richardson Jul 23 '11 at 15:47

I'm running my 3D (m)MORPG off of a cheap mono core Atom server (~18€/month) and if ever I get a lot of players I'll just hire a bigger server (a recent bi-quad Intel will be more than 50 times more powerful). Actually, even the Atom is overkill ATM so just go with what you can.

That said, I don't know what language you are using nor what kind of framework you have (Is it inhouse? Is it effective?).

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I think you should consider google's app engine. It uses google infrastructure, is fast and was proven to be fast enough for handling real-time game. It is simply scalable and you can use it for free at the begining, when the trafic starts to be bigger, you start to pay.

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Do you have a link for this real-time game you talk about? And is GAE suitable for a game that was already made, or would it have to be heavily reworked to use the appropriate APIs? – Kylotan Jul 25 '11 at 11:39
@Kylotan Searching this site for "App Engine" will provides lots of answers. If it is not enough i'll try to search again the game i was talking about. – Notabene Jul 25 '11 at 12:38
2 uses Google App Engine as it's host. While the game isn't graphically intensive, it has a huge player base at all times. – JClaspill Jul 25 '11 at 17:43

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