TL; DR: Over the last decade, MCProHosting has grown from a two-person operation offering Minecraft servers to a respected host for a dozen server-based games. The company is deeply committed to high-quality support and easy onboarding, making it ideal for customers who need a little guidance to run their own servers. MCProHosting continues to enhance its products with a custom control panel, support for at least several new games, and improvements to its website.
Since its launch in 2011, Minecraft has become one of the most successful games of all time — and it continues to grow. The game had more than $200 million in sales and an estimated 126 million monthly players in 2020.
It has also spawned an entire ecosystem of products and services that support gameplay.
As Minecraft began seeing success, two early players decided to launch MCProHosting, a company to host private Minecraft servers.
“We’re a market within that market,” said William Barlow, Brand and Marketing Manager for MCProHosting. “Not everyone who plays wants a server, but we’re trying to change that because even the word ‘server’ can be a bit intimidating to some people.”
Today, MCProHosting supports many other games, including Valheim and Terraria, with 23 datacenter locations across six continents. The company prides itself on a 99.99% uptime rate and serves more than 670,000 satisfied customers.
MCProHosting recently launched its own control panel, moving away from the vendor-supplied solutions it offered for many years. That will give players even more control over their gaming experience.
“We’ve entirely switched over to our own custom control panel, which is getting a really awesome redesign at the moment,” William said. “It’s now live, and we’re looking forward to offering it to more people.”
The value of simple access to reliable servers isn’t just for the hard-core gamers, either. During the COVID-19 pandemic, online gaming became more popular throughout the world. That’s why MCProHosting believes its fundamental value proposition as a private game server company is making its products accessible to a global base of dedicated players.
Minecraft Servers Make Memories, Not Just Games
MCProHosting has seen a significant increase in traffic over the last year. According to William, there was a run on servers across the industry partly due to hardware shortages.
And it’s not just the game hosting market. A spike in demand for remote servers and cloud solutions resulting from the pandemic has made certain storage solutions more elusive — and more expensive.
Still, MCProHosting encourages gamers to run private servers.
“It doesn’t matter what game you’re playing,” William said. “You can create memories, fun times, and even communities by building in Minecraft for days and days with your friends. And it’s saved forever. That’s not necessarily something a lot of providers offer.”
It is not the server, but all of the information it can store, including various modpacks and plugins, that contribute to a personalized and memorable gaming experience. Different combinations of these extras generate a very different look and feel for the game.
When people are isolated, the joy of playing an online game with friends may improve mental health in times of pandemic lockdowns and social distancing.
By running a server rather than joining a large public one, the history and camaraderie that a small group of friends enjoys while playing the game is preserved.
That is one of the main reasons why MCProHosting tries to remove the complexity to help less tech-savvy gamers enjoy the benefits of a private-server ecosystem with minimal friction.
“It’s a growth industry,” William said. “The biggest challenges are always making sure that we keep up and maintain our customer service levels.”
New Server Owners Supported by Experts and a Welcoming Service Team
Many budget hosts rely on knowledge bases and infrequently checked ticketing systems to provide customer service. That means customers do the heavy lifting of troubleshooting before a support agent steps in.
Even then, the agent may not work for the company and require customers to troubleshoot basic functions until they need “second-level” support — which is often code for someone who works for the host.
MCProHosting takes a different approach to service.
“We focus on making sure we get the best customer experience,” William said. “With cheaper competitors, you’re not going to get the service that we can offer, just because of how many staff we have, and how many experts, and our in-depth knowledge base. We want to make sure we don’t lose people in the fog of not understanding how to run a server.”
The results of that philosophy are evident in the company’s excellent ratings on TrustPilot, with 85% of more than 5,000 reviews coming in at the five-star level.
The goal is to ensure that customers have several support options, regardless of their level of technical expertise, to feel confident running a server. However, in the game-hosting space, there’s an added complexity in the form of modpacks and other specific tweaks that go beyond traditional game deployments.
MCProHosting employs several modpack experts who understand how to incorporate popular mods into games and troubleshoot rare mods.
The company’s support approach also applies to its road map for future enhancements. MCProHosting has recently ramped up its community outreach effort by creating a team of beta testers from its own customer community — primarily people who’ve had servers for many years. Their feedback provided MCProHosting with insight into the user experience.
“Getting their ideas and views has been invaluable,” William said. “We had a different perspective on some things about our control panel than someone who runs a server for 100 people. Their feedback on what we’ve been developing has led to a dramatically better final product.”
MCProHosting: Sophisticated Game Hosting Made Simple
In a decade, MCProHosting has grown from a labor of love run by two Minecraft gamers to a full-fledged game-server host that emphasizes excellent customer service.
MCProHosting’s approach follows from its ethos that gaming is a social activity that builds meaningful memories. And private servers are essential to their preservation, so MCProHosting makes it easy for people with little or no technical skill to run a game server successfully.
The rapid increase in gaming activity in 2020 challenged all hosting providers to do more in an environment where hardware became more scarce and expensive. MCProHosting’s response is geared toward helping even more people succeed at running a private gaming server. Its site redesign complements the company’s extensive service team, including modpack experts and other support agents who can help customize game experiences.
And MCProHosting still looks forward to an aggressive product road map.
“In 2021, we’re going to add at least several games, more panel features, and more products, as well as enhance our support team,” William said. “The new panel design has been tremendously collaborative.”
For people who are eager to try a hosted gaming server, MCProHosting offers a great value proposition, especially for aspiring gaming leaders who feel uncomfortable running a server of their own.
“It really does come down to the support team that we have here,” William said. “It’s unlike a lot of places I’ve worked with in the past. The staff here have a different level of dedication to understanding what we’re trying to do and to constantly work to make it better.”