GGPO (or some other similar netcode) should develop into a professional gaming network, like Steam or Battle.net.
Avoid the legal grey area of emulation for now. (see below)
Develop complete online platform for arcade games. Rollback netcode, spectators, replays, ladders, chatrooms, friend list, game purchasing, DLC etc.
Built in controller button mapping, and other offline features like replay saving for offline matches would be nice too.
Cross platform where possible. PC and PS3 should be doable. (xbox live seems to disallow cross platform for some reason.)
Offer a documented and professional SDK and API for game developers to easily write games for this platform.
First get one or two friendly game devs on board. I suggest Skullgirls would be an excellent first title, since the developers are already sympathetic to GGPO and the hardcore community.
So Skullgirls would be purchasable on this network and uses the network for its online play.
Possibly also some japanese indie devs can be pursuaded, so something like Vanguard Princess etc. I guess there’s nothing stopping western indie games either (scrolling shootem ups and so forth.)
As the brand is established, start negotiating with larger companies to bring their older titles onto the platform via emulation. You “buy” a game to add the ability to play it on the network. (so piracy is not an issue because it’s all about the online account). Port the emulation platform to consoles as well, so both PC and console gamers can play against each other.
Similar to steam/appstores/etc, the network takes a small cut of all purchases/subscriptions (like 30%) and the rest goes to the developers / publishers / game owners.
Use revenue to further develop and promote the platform (and run the servers, of course.) Add esport and community features, voice chat and so forth.
Continue to secure rights to older games since they can be added to the emulation section at very little development cost. New games can also come to the platform as developers use the SDK/API to integrate the system from the start.
—Profit and win
I’m tired of netcode and online features being different and bad across different titles. Technically it makes no sense for every company to reinvent the wheel. All the pieces exist - someone just needs to put it all together, make it good, and we will solve the problem once and for all, for every game, forever.
ps. if its too hard to go it alone, then working together with Good Old Games might be an option, since they are already established in the purchasing/licensing aspect.**