Total Entertainment Network Overcomes Technology Hurdles
15,000th beta customer reached as leading interactive network for game-players prepares for late summer release
SAN FRANCISCO July 26, 1996 The Metzlers are fighting over the computer again. When Paul Metzler encouraged his wife, Wendy, to sign on to the Total Entertainment Network (TEN), he never thought shed take to it as well as she did. But since Wendy signed up as TENs 15,000th beta customer on June 28, he hasnt had a chance to play. "I was tired of spending time alone in bed while Paul was on the computer," said the Benicia, Calif. mother of one, "but now Im seriously addicted!"
The addition of the 15,000th customer is a marker for the strength of TENs technology. With this level of growthdriven largely by word of mouth within the gamer community TEN has achieved a significant milestone in resolving performance, latency and bandwidth issues, the number of simultaneous players on a particular server, and access to the TEN network. To date, more than 600 people can play simultaneously on TENs network with consistent performance and acceptable latency levels.
"TENs network infrastructure is handling the load without a problem. Supporting increased usage without performance degradation is the most challenging technical hurdle for any game network," according to Dave King, Chief Technology Officer at TEN. "This milestone was necessary to prove that TEN can provide quality fast-action game play to a large customer base," continued King.
The new volume of simultaneous customers has provided TEN with server and network stress testing vital in the final beta stages. "Because of the continuous high-volume of people simultaneously on the network we have been able to quickly uncover and fix bugs, while also improving latency levels and overall performance," said Jack Heistand, President and CEO of TEN. While TEN is still in its beta testing phase, continuous use of the network 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, the companys service has been solidified for its upcoming commercial release.
"The feedback from our beta customers has been critical in moving toward commercial release of our service. The information weve received in terms of features, stability, performance and content will let us provide people with a great multi-player gaming experience," added Heistand.
Currently the only multi-player gaming service that allows true national play, thousands of customers connect to the network each day over TEN-provided Internet dial-up numbers or through personal Internet service providers. "Gamers are always looking for a new challenge," said Heistand. "Because TEN provides the ability to play against others anywhere in the country, the possibilities are unlimited." With games like Duke Nukem 3D (which have very demanding latency requirements), TEN has demonstrated its ability to handle this level of usage without performance degradation and has laid the groundwork for a wealth of upcoming titles ready for multi-user play.
Total Entertainment Network is committed to creating the premier consumer network for game playing consumers on the Internet. TEN has online rights to more than twenty five different games, over half of which are TEN exclusives, by leading software publishers including
3D Realms/Apogee, Blizzard, Domark, Maxis, MicroProse, Spectrum HoloByte, and SSI. Based in San Francisco, TEN was formed in 1995 from the merger of Planet Optigon, Inc. and Outland, Inc. TEN received its initial funding from Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers, with subsequent investors including: Ameritech; Goldman Sachs; Robertson, Stephens & Company; and Vertex Management.
Members can reach TEN through their own Internet connection or one of TENs nationwide access numbers. The software will be available initially for Windows 95. To reach TEN, call 415-778-3500 or visit http://www.ten.net.
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