Guild site hosting is an interesting business-- on the one hand, it's really an ISP function, where you've got to keep the site up and running and make sure it has enough power to take on all that traffic. But on the other hand, it's also a community building venture-- it's your job to put the tools in place to keep guilds together and progressing in game. I have no idea what kind of money is going through it (from my experience, it's mostly an ad-based business-- you provide free hosting in exchange for ad views), but as online games get more and more popular, there's bound to be larger and larger companies coming out of the mix.
And here's two now-- Guildcafe has announced on their blog
that they've acquired Uberguilds
. Guildcafe, from the press release, is apparently going to handle that technical side of things, and Uberguilds, with their broad reach of the community, is going to act as the "Guildcafe Alliance,"
and use Guildcafe's application to connect guilds and players together.
I don't have a lot of experience with either (my WoW
guild uses Guildportal
, and while it's super ugly, it gets the job done connecting us out of game), but this could be the start of something big-- an ISP/application site combining with known community builders might be just what this "guild hosting" industry needs to become even more widespread.
[Via Virgin Worlds