Network Next has announced that it’s raised $4.4m (£3.3m) in a seed round to launch its ‘internet fast lane for games’. The seed round was led by BITKRAFT Esports Ventures, with additional investment coming from Bain Capital Ventures, Velo Capital Partners and Rocket League developer Psyonix.
As part of the announcement, Network Next confirmed that Psyonix has signed on to become the first game customer with the Network Next service integrated into its game. Rocket League will add the feature in the coming months.
Network Next believes that its service solves a major problem with internet service provided to gamers. Network Next state that ‘It [the internet] has been optimized to deliver static and streaming content, not interactive, real-time applications like online multiplayer games that require high performance and the lowest latency possible’. To solve this problem, Network Next integrates its technology into the game and creates a ‘fast lane’ across the internet. To achieve this, the company partners with game developers to specify their performance requirements with Network Next’s technology finding the fastest route between the user and the servers of the game.
Glenn Fiedler, CEO, Network Next, had this to say: “We believe that game traffic should be prioritized above other internet traffic and could not be more thrilled to partner with investors who share that belief. With this new investment, we’ll be able to grow our team and continue the development of our technology, which will ensure that we can deliver on our vision.”
Latency is a major issue within gaming and esports, with LAN environments offering the equivalent of around 5ms, gamers’ are always trying to find the closes they can achieve, even living moving closer to the servers of the game. The issues are especially noticeable in reaction based games such as CS:GO, League of Legends or large open worlds like WoW and PUBG.
Jens Hilgers, BITKRAFT Esports Ventures Founding Partner, added: The gaming industry is dependent on reliable, consistent network connections. Playing at your best for gamers means playing on a stable network with low latency – and that’s where game developers don’t find great solutions. Network Next makes it easier for developers to operate on the highest quality infrastructure and make sure that gamers get the fastest and most consistent experience. As gamers as well as industry supporters, we at BITKRAFT could not be more excited to invest in this team and technology.”
Esports Insider says: Companies in the past have claimed to offer these kinds of services, though Network Next has taken a big step in partnering with Rocket League developer Psyonix. Once the technology is live in Rocket League we’ll certainly get a good chance to see how it all works and hopefully, it offers exactly what Network Next.