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P2P For the Gaming Industry
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posted by:
publisher: ByteSwarm
developer: ByteSwarm
date posted: 12:00 AM Fri Feb 18th, 2005
last revision: 12:00 AM Fri Feb 18th, 2005

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One of the most controversial and revolutionary technologies to hit the main stage in the last few years is peer-to-peer (P2P) networking. Applications that use P2P networking forgo the traditional central server? model to find other networked nodes and utilize a decentralized model where nodes are peers on the network. In other words, P2P cuts out the middle man and allows nodes (personal computers) to communicate directly with one another.  

On the surface, P2P networking sounds like an innocuous technology. However, popular file sharing applications and protocols--such as Bit Torrent, Kazaa and eDonkey--have exploited the technology's power to revolutionize content distribution while perhaps simultaneously giving P2P a negative connotation. None of these applications openly encourage illegal filesharing, but that seems to be viewed as their primary function by legal authorities.

While the RIAA and the MPAA wage their covert and overt war on P2P filesharing networks, there is absolutely no question that these much-maligned P2P file sharing apps completely changed the world by shattering traditional methods of content distribution, content discovery and user communication.

As of yet, many mainstream industries have not embraced the true benefits of P2P technology. In the near future, P2P technology will find itself embedded in many mainstream applications and services. ByteSwarm (www.byteswarm.com) is a group committed to bringing the true power of P2P technology into more mainstream industries. Our first stop on the mainstream journey--gaming.

If there's one truism about gamers, they are not afraid of new technology. Gamers are typically early technology adopters, since the entire industry is built on creativity and a desire to solve challenges. Gamers also tend to have a bit more technical acumen than other industries. It's this pioneering attitude that has enabled ByteSwarm to spearhead the legitimate use of P2P technology in the gaming arena.

P2P Content Distribution

ByteSwarm has been quietly flying under the radar over the last two years, as we have experimented with new ideas, tested out new products and services and gauged the level of acceptance among both gaming companies and, more importantly, the gamers themselves. Our first foray into the gaming arena was with ByteSwarm.com. ByteSwarm.com (www.byteswarm.com) is a free, high-speed file downloading portal that utilizes AceGain's proprietary P2P platform (ByteSwarm is a division of AceGain, Inc ). The ByteSwarm download agent is a small download manager that enables users to download files from many sources simultaneously.

Gaming is the perfect field for P2P file distribution, since game demos and patch updates are getting huge while demand is growing rapidly. P2P distribution not only accelerates the download speed for the end user, but it dramatically reduces the load on the server for the site hosting the file. In traditional ˜client-server' set ups, all users will come to a central server to download the file. In a P2P environment, all users will download small bits and pieces of the file from each other and multiple server sources simultaneously. This results in the perfect win-win situation, as users experience fast downloads and site owners dramatically reduce their costs.

Game LiveUpdate

LiveUpdate is a common service of many applications and operating systems. It works this way:
A company releases a software product Customers buy and install the product The company releases a patch update for the product The product will detect the patch and download and install the patch automatically.
This seamless and automated process has been common in antivirus and anti-spyware applications for some time. But as of yet, most games don't come embedded with LiveUpdate services. ByteSwarm LiveUpdate fingerprints every game title, and automatically detects when a new patch is made available.

LiveUpdate uses the same decentralized, P2P content delivery mechanism found on the file portal. By combining the automated patch detection logic with high speed, P2P delivery, game publishers have a very low cost and efficient patch delivery system while gamers can focus on enjoying the game--not scouring the Web looking for updates.

Total Game Client

In the very near future, ByteSwarm will be releasing the ByteSwarm Total Game Client, The Total Game Client will consolidate the multitude of applications and services that ByteSwarm has been working on for the past two years. The client will include LiveUpdate, free file downloads, online game server matching, P2P VoIP communication, P2P Video Chat and much more. These services are made much more affordable by the underlying P2P network. Without P2P, companies that wanted to provide these services would be forced to make significant investments in servers and network infrastructure. P2P software has made these hardware requirements a thing of the past.


While many people still correlate P2P with illegal filesharing, ByteSwarm is trying to bring the power of P2P into the mainstream, legitimate spotlight. Many would say that P2P applications that enable massive illegal filesharing have given P2P a black eye. But we believe these applications have been a proof of concept. Now it's time to wear the white hat and exploit these powers for good--accelerating content delivery, reducing costs and improving the overall gaming experience.