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I'm developing a game that will require renting a server. The server will be used to host scores, clans, friends(on/off), match making, lobby, and chat. The game/match will be hosted by each player (to lower the cost). How much would a server like this cost? Any hosting recommendation? How much would it cost if the server hosts the games/matches too?

I want to know a base price (imagine a card game or turn based RPG, even though my game is real time).

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closed as too localized by Tetrad Mar 19 '12 at 23:32

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I doubt this question can be answered without having a very good knowledge about the amount of concurrent users and the amount of data to transfer. As a general rule of thumb I'd say start with whatever is attainable and scale as your user-base (traffic) grows. –  bummzack Feb 12 '12 at 16:54

2 Answers 2

I would check the costs for housing a server at a local provider. Then you can put your own server together. Thats your base price.

Then you can go to check prices for cloud services. Depending on traffic this can get pricy, that's why I personally would stick to a server on your own and only go in the cloud, if your server gets too many requests..

Check out this related posts:

What options do I have for game hosting

Which server platform to choose

What's the best server architecture for real-time games?

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I think that using cloud services for game servers is a big no-no. Most of these providers require you to basically pay for everything. And when I say everything, I mean everything - shared database, dedicated database, CPU usage, disk space, backups, CRON, SMTP, DNS, ... It's better to pay for a VPS (virtual private server), in my opinion. –  TomsonTom Feb 12 '12 at 18:52
    
Well I only suggested it as a supplementary scaling option. To handle peeks it's a good thing I think. (Better keep the games going than make your users/gamers unhappy.) But as you mentioned, if the load is often exceeding your own servers capabilities and extending to the cloud, then you will pay too much. –  SwissCoder Feb 12 '12 at 20:46
    
Also with a virtual private server, you can not scale well. If the usage exceeds the servers limits you are stuck in the same way, as if your own servers limit exceeds. If you buy an additional virtual server only for the eventually arising peeks, then you pay too much as well I think. –  SwissCoder Feb 12 '12 at 20:49

If you're not doing game simulation, everything else has low CPU and bandwidth requirements. So you could look at using a cloud-based service like Amazon's EC2. Amazon even offers a free micro instance for a year, so it might be worth checking out.

I've found that cloud-hosted systems like this aren't a great fit for actual game simulation, both because it requires more CPU time (that you're paying for), and because it doesn't tend to respond quickly to spikes in CPU load. But for other tasks like what you mention, it could be a great fit.. and you can easily benchmark your costs by running a server locally and testing your CPU and bandwidth requirements per user.

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