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Why Game Developers Are Choosing IBM Over Amazon

Tickers in this article: AMZN IBM

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- With more than 18 million individuals and businesses around the world, the influential population of web and software developers are fiercely competed over by cloud technology companies who want to see them build apps on their cloud to help boost demand for their products.

For IBM , ever since its acquisition of public-cloud provider SoftLayer last summer, the company has been gaining traction with the video game developer community. Many of them are cloud-reliant, "born-on-the Web" companies that are drawn to the highly specialized bare metal server services offered by SoftLayer that are sold to high-end enterprise customers in a wide range of industries and can support the development and conveyance of rich, graphical and media work, or big data, quickly and efficiently to publisher customers in a hybrid setting.

"Particular to gaming, it's all about horsepower, so they always want the latest and greatest," said Lance Crosby, the CEO of SoftLayer, who recently spoke with TheStreet."We're one of the only providers out there that offers the bare metal with the GPU inside the server and multiple GPUs inside the same physical server."

According to Phil Shih, the founder and managing director of independent research and consulting firm Structure Research , IBM SoftLayer now has a considerable, video game developer customer base including clients that chose IBM SoftLayer's cloud services over Amazon Web Services (AWS) despite Amazon being cheaper. 

"Actually the customer that comes to IBM from AWS or chooses IBM over AWS does not make that decision based on price," said Shih. "If anything, SoftLayer's services are probably priced a bit higher. Price isn't the driving factor for these customers."

Not many technology vendors offer the bare metal service, and AWS doesn't either. In light of this, SoftLayer delivers the service in the very specific way that allows for a level of performance and control that game developers prefer over other bare metal services, according to Shih. It provides a private network with a global footprint and fast provisioning. Other capabilities, including the collective combination of tool sets, application process interfaces (APIs), and ease of use and interfacing have been extra supporting factors for SoftLayer.

A lot of these gaming companies were using SoftLayer's services prior to getting bought by IBM, and now represent a new generation of IT buyers for Big Blue. With IBM and SoftLayer now combined, IBM said SoftLayer is now generating even more gaming developer business on added enthusiasm stoked by the heavy resource investments that IBM is putting into its new public cloud combined with its own specialty in building out massive systems with a particular focus on security. According to IBM figures, 2,500 new cloud clients including gaming clients have signed up with the company since the SoftLayer purchase, or a tripling in the rate of adoption.