2000 epix CHALLENGE #2

Develop a plan that details how epix should provide gaming services for direct epix Internet Services customers, and identify opportunities for epix to set up gaming servers for non-epix internet users.
 

Background Information:

The convergence of the personal computing gaming industry and the Internet has made online multi-player games a very popular activity for Internet users.

Action and graphic intensive games once regulated to the single player desktop may now be easily networked into group play across the Internet. As connection speeds increase, so will the overall playability of these games, and their popularity. Generally speaking, the closer (network wise) one is to the game "server," the better the gaming experience. This principle indicates that an opportunity exists for epix Internet Services to offer such services to our customers.

Slow, graphically unsophisticated games, such as chess and checkers are also offered for free by many online services. Epix could most likely not charge for these, but there may be intangible benefits that make it worthwhile.

Generating revenue from gaming services has presented a problem to many online services. Users are generally unwilling to pay monthly subscription fees to play. Other issues include licensing, administration, and support. Current subscription services charge around $8 - 10 / month. There are many games offered at no charge.

Suggested Approaches to the Problem:

*Research available "Internet" playable games. Focus on gaming networks and companies that support these games.

*Perform market research. Examples: What are "gamers" looking for? What would they pay? What do other companies charge and what services do they offer?

*Web sites and links of interest (small sample):
            http://www.multiplayer.com
            http://www.quakeworld.com
            http://www.zone.com
            http://www.ten.net

*Brainstorm possible services.

*Brainstorm possible revenue streams (direct and indirect).

*Consider benefits to epix ­ customer relationship.

Expectations:

Research and briefly report on 3-5 possible game services which epix could offer its customers.

Choose a 'best solution'* and create a detailed report; including the following:

        Cost Analysis
        Suggested pricing if it is deemed a revenue generating product
        Consumer demand (from both epix and external customers)
        Additional revenue streams
        Description of the Service

Include relevant research used to arrive at these conclusions.

Final recommendations on how epix should market this product?

* Note that the 'best' solution may not be financially profitable. Consider intangible benefits as well when making this selection.

Oral Presentation:

If you are selected to give an oral presentation for this problem, the presentation will be held at CTE Headquarters, 100 CTE Drive, Rt. 309, Dallas, PA.  You will be given directions and notified of the exact date and time later.



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