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Game populations

{\figurename} 6: Game popularity distribution averaged over nine months (log scale)

Hosting games is challenging, in part, due to the difficulties of accurate provisioning. Under-provisioning can test gamer patience, while over-provisioning can be costly. We look at two facets of gaming integral to successful game provisioning: overall game popularity and predicting game workloads. We show that (1) there are, and will be, very few extremely popular games, and (2) game workloads are periodic and predictable over short-term intervals.

{\figurename} 7: Player load for three popular games over a 4-week period
\includegraphics[width=0.30\textwidth]{figures/time-shift-army} \includegraphics[width=0.315\textwidth]{figures/time-shift-halflife} \includegraphics[width=0.30\textwidth]{figures/time-shift-nwn}
(a) America's Army (b) Half-Life (c) Neverwinter Nights