What do you do when you’re a game company with 70+ million customers and the Internet infrastructure isn’t good enough? Answer: You make your own network.
That’s what Riot is doing, in the attempt to stabilize ping for all North American League of Legends players, especially those on the east coast who are far from Riot’s west coast servers. This forum post lays out the reasons for and barebones details of what Riot is looking to do:
“Why are we doing this? Currently, ISPs focus primarily on moving large volumes of data in seconds or minutes, which is good for buffered applications like YouTube or Netflix but not so good for real-time games, which need to move very small amounts of data in milliseconds. On top of that, your internet connection might bounce all over the country instead of running directly to where it needs to go, which can impact your network quality and ping whether the game server is across the country or right down the street.
“This is why we’re in the process of creating our own direct network for League traffic and working with ISPs across the US and Canada to connect players to this network.”
It’s one hell of an ambitious — and probably expensive — project, and you have to give props to Riot for such an ambitious undertaking. Here’s hoping it leads to a better experience for everyone.