In my opinion the 64 player cap on multiplayer game servers mostly in the FPS genre is artificial. Set in place because its been done before and doesn't break new ground in software development costs. Be it set down on paper by the game publisher or the development studio with the limited resources they may have at their disposable.
If the Sony PlayStation 3 video game console now pushing around eight years old in hardware specs. Can have a game development studio of "Zipper Interactive" produce the FPS game called "Mag" (Massive Action Game). That provides a multiplayer game experience of 256 players in the FPS genre. Its because it can be done not just for video game consoles, but for PC's as well. Some game developers may cop out stating that the game could support higher number of players. But it wouldn't play right. Well the dirty little secret is they built the level map designs for only 32 or so players. That's why it won't play right to begin with from the start.
Aside from this minor rant on my part I digress and would like to provide a concept that can break new ground for game developers. That's if they have the resolve and vision to pursue the nearly decade long 64 player game server cap that has been self-imposed.
Take for instance how "Intel" the computer chip CPU maker first offered the "Dual Core" and than the "Quad Core" computer chips. I state this as a engineering barrier being broken by Intel where for decades prior it was always a mono core computer chip. Than someone or a group of computer architectural engineers came up with the simple but brilliant idea to stack the computer CPU chips.
My concept is nearly identical, why not stack several instances of a virtual 64 player game servers. Until 256 simultaneous gamers can be achieved in multiplayer game server. By Instances I mean like the instances we encounter as gamers in a MMO (Massively Multiplayer Online) game setting. Where if need be a zoning loading screen to cross between 64 player virtual instances if the restriction is needed. Albeit a seamless crossing from 64 player instance to the next virtual instance would be preferred in game play. Be it in a FPS or RPG genre such as a "Battlefield Franchise" game or a multiplayer "Never Winter Nights" D&D (Dungeon and Dragons) setting.
In so far the only place I've ever had the gaming pleasure to game in a FPS setting beyond the 64 player capacity. Is in the original "Planetside" MMOFPS offered by "Sony Online Entertainment". Which ironically is the same parent company that "Zipper Interactive" that provided the FPS game "Mag" for the PlayStation 3 via "Sony Computer Entertainment of America" game publisher. Not to frown on Sony, but are they the only game publisher to have the vision for gamers? To provide games that surpass the 64 player cap on multiplayer server games?
I hope not, since the leadership hasn't come from "Electronic Arts" nor from "Activision" the leading FPS genre of game publishers. I suspect it will be some Independent game studio that will take the world by storm by breaking such a barrier for the PC platform. Although technically the prize does belong to "Zipper Interactive" for the video game console of the PlayStation 3.
Its self explanatory to gamers what sheer enjoyment if the structure and game design features of a command and control. That is both fun and provoking within a 256 player game server would offer us all. If widely adopted I could envision game LAN's and game leagues alike becoming early users of such 256 player multiplayer servers. Besides the crop of game server rental vendors waiting to serve their customer base all to readily.
Just picture the single player campaign maps of "Battlefield: Bad Company 2" (By EA / DICE) each offering 32 player limit for the PC platform. (24 players on the game consoles). Eight such maps linked together via virtual instances to reach the 256 player capacity in game server multiplayer play all on "Rush or Conquest" Mode. If a game server doesn't become filled to capacity. Then only the X number of maps that are utilized where the rest are dormant until a minimum number of players login.
This can be done if only the leadership and vision was offered to gamers and the electronic games industry as a whole.