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|Headquarters||Blackfield, United Kingdom|
|Craig Fletcher (CEO)
Stewart Fletcher (COO)
|Services||Game Server Hosting
|Owner||Game Digital plc |
Multiplay (UK) Ltd is a UK-based family company which was incorporated in May 1997 by Craig Fletcher. They have been running gaming events for over a decade. They have achieved mass exposure as the producers of the Insomnia Gaming Festival, the UK's largest video games festival, and as the Events Producer behind Minecon - the Minecraft convention held in Disneyland Paris. Multiplay is also known as a worldwide Games Service Provider. Their servers host players from 195 different countries and hold a PCU (Peak Concurrent Users) of over 25,000. The company is owned by Game Digital plc.
Multiplay started as a LAN event organiser in 1999 hosting their first event "Insomnia" in conjunction with Wireplay. The event underwent a name change to i-series for their second event "i2" due to splitting with Wireplay.
Events 2-4 were all hosted in Swindon Town before moving to a new venue, the Newbury Racecourse Conference Center for "i5" in the year 2000. The event later moved to Stoneleigh Park in 2008 for "i34" citing continued growth needing a larger venue. As a result of the recession of 2008 Multiplay were then forced to move back to Newbury Racecourse citing decreased revenue from sponsorships. After 3 years at Newbury the event outgrew the venue again and moved to Telford International Centre in 2011, and it was here that the name of the event was changed back to the original "Insomnia" name. On 2 December 2013 Multiplay announced the Insomnia event would move to the Ricoh Arena for i51 onwards citing continued growth. The event moved again for i56 onwards, this time to the Birmingham NEC, the UK's largest exhibition centre.
Professional Gaming Circuit
Hundreds of professional gaming tournaments have been hosted at "iSeries" ever since its inception. They offer considerable prize pools for winning tournaments at Insomnia with over £390,000 being given away in prize money. Insomnia attracts major professional gaming teams such as Dignitas, TCM and Infused. In addition to their own tournaments, Multiplay have also been the WCG UK Strategic partner since 2004.
Insomnia Gaming Festival
Insomnia Gaming Festival is a large-scale gaming event with a professional Main Stage, an Expo Hall and a large-scale LAN (Local Area Network) event which is the largest LAN in the UK. Originally this was a PC gaming only event, but in recent years has incorporated console gamers. The series of events, referred to as the ‘iSeries’ are sequentially numbered and run three times a year, typically with one around Easter, with the others usually hosted in August and November. The original events were hosted at Newbury Racecourse in the United Kingdom from i5 to i33 when the venue was relocated to Stoneleigh Park for i34. From i38 to i42 the event returned to Newbury. The home of i43 to i50 events was The Telford International Centre  and from i51 to i55 it took place at the Ricoh Arena in Coventry. i56 - present day is being held at the NEC in Birmingham due to its growth and popularity. These events have evolved with professional competitive tournaments and large exhibition halls. Popular segments of the festival include main stage shows by special guests, often YouTube personalities, as well as evening entertainment such as the "World Famous Insomnia Pub Quiz". Sometimes referred to as “The Glastonbury of Gaming”, Insomnia continues to be the biggest festival of its kind in the UK. The first Insomnia: Insomnia99 was a 300-player event. At that point, it was, and remains, the largest LAN party held in the United Kingdom. It was announced during i55 that the festival would relocate to the NEC in Birmingham in time for i56 in December 2015.
Multiplay were approached by Sandbox/Survival game creators Mojang to produce their fan festival Minecon, celebrating the online world of Minecraft. The convention was held in Disneyland Paris in November 2012 and attracted over 7,000 visitors.
World Cyber Games
Multiplay UK have also hosted the United Kingdom's national qualifiers for the World Cyber Games at their I-Series events for a number of years, working on behalf of Samsung Electronics UK for the 2004, 2006, 2007 and 2008 games. For the 2009 games Multiplay have been confirmed as the strategic partner by global organiser International Cyber Marketing. The 2009 UK National Final was held at M Festival, Multiplay's own video gaming festival in August 2009 at Stoneleigh Park.
IPL 4 UK Qualifiers
Multiplay UK’s i44 event in Telford hosted the IGN Pro League 4 UK Qualifiers (IPL 4 UK) resulting in the biggest eSports event the UK has ever hosted. Over 2,500,000 viewers watched the proceedings with TotalBiscuit and Apollo commentating on top Starcraft 2 professional players like White Ra, Stephano and Grubby. $20,000 prize pool was given out to the top 8 players, with the French player Stephano taking gold.
ESET UK Masters
Multiplay also hosted the finals for the ESET UK Masters in 2012/2013 which plays host to the biggest prize pool for a Starcraft 2 tournament sponsored by a UK organization at an esports event (£10,000 per event). This is set to take part for all 3 iSeries events in 2013 making it one of the most ambitious eSports projects hosted within the UK.
Online Service Hosting
At the time of writing, Multiplay host over 23,000 online game servers and are one of the leading GSP’s in the world. Their server projects include hosting official servers  for Minecraft, Chivalry: Medieval Warfare, War of the Roses, Unreal Tournament 3, Natural Selection 2, the Medal of Honor series, the Battlefield series and the main EA forums. Additionally, Multiplay UK holds agreements with companies such as Electronic Arts, Vivendi, Danger Close Games, Unknown Worlds Entertainment and Paradox Interactive in which they are allowed to host official "ranked" servers for their games. Multiplay also provided the backend infrastructure for the multiplayer features of Respawn Entertainment's Titanfall 2.
Technical Article Writing
Multiplay's server development and networking team have operated a technical blog for the development community since October 2008. This is popular within technical background coding forums and useful to developers and plugin authors of gameserver operated games and mods.
- "GAME buys UK eSports organiser Multiplay for £20m". Wired.
- Tactful (2013-12-02). "The Insomnia Gaming Festival is Leveling Up! Announcing the Ricoh Arena as our Insonia51 Venue". Insomnia Official Website. Multiplay. Retrieved 3 March 2014.
- Daniel Jones (2015-08-29). "We are moving: Announcing Insomnia56 at the NEC Birmingham (11th-14th December)". Insomnia Official Website. Multiplay. Retrieved 28 July 2016.
- "i34 change of venue".
- "i38 Venue Announced as Newbury Racecourse".
- "i43 Venue Information Page".
- "The Insomnia Gaming Festival moves to the Ricoh Arena in Coventry".
- "BBC Website". BBC. 29 March 1999. Retrieved 13 May 2010.
- "Multiplay Minecon 2012 Video".
- "Stephano wins IPL4 UK".
- "ESET UK Masters 2012".
- "ESET UK Masters at i48".
- "Multiplay Game Servers".
- "Medal of Honor: Warfighter Servers Available".
- "Unknown Worlds - Natural Selection 2 Launch recap".