Melbourne ISP Netspace has ditched its current online gaming partner and resurrected its own foray into the field with an offering dubbed Gamespace.
Stuart Marburg, managing director at Netspace, told CRN the ISP had decided the time was right to re-enter online gaming on its own behalf.
The ISP's first attempt some three years ago had failed, partly as a result of broadband infrastructure problems prevalent at the time, he said.
"It was hard to do it at a consistent level and also we were dealing with a lot of well known outages that happened [at that time]," Marburg said.
Retail channel partners would be targeted as potential marketers for the service, which was free but added appealing functionality to a reseller's broadband service, Marburg said.
As part of the plan, Netspace's online gaming customers such as the Oceanic Gaming Network (OGN) have been given short shrift. OGN announced to its online gamers in early August that Netspace was ending their 18-month relationship.
Netspace hosted online gaming organisations such as OGN, providing infrastructure and hardware with which to operate. OGN has since signed with rival ISP iinet.
"For the last 18 months Netspace has enjoyed the use of the OGN network for the provision of its gaming environment. Prior to that Netspace ran its own in house gaming service, Gamespace. Well, after an 18 month holiday we have decided to blow the cobwebs off of Gamespace and relaunch it," Netspace said at the time.
Marburg said Gamespace was also offering a game school to help get new gamers involved. Game School would offer demo versions of popular games such as Counter-Strike to would-be gamers.
Game School administrators would supervise the sessions to ensure only inexperienced players participated, he said.
"Supervisors will sit in on the games and make sure nobody goes in there who's too experienced," Marburg said.
Online gaming had great potential and broad appeal only beginning to be realised as broadband takeup accelerated, he said.
"When we beta-tested the servers, over 6000 gamers logged in," he said. "At one stage, over 300 people were connected."
Resellers would earn a finder's fee as well as ongoing commission for new customers for the service, Marburg said.
Netspace was devoting 73 game servers and more than 20 different games to the project. Games included Quake 2, Call of Duty and Unreal Tournament 2004, Marburg said.