The Future Of The Gaming Industry Lies In The…Cloud?

The Future Of The Gaming Industry Lies In The…Cloud?

Albeit the recent futuristic foray into cloud gaming and heavy investments being made by the giants of the gaming industry and Netflix..? Is this really a lucrative industry and the future?

Digitalization has hit video games as well with them being available for download on anything under the sun untill it has a stable network connection. Consoles, PC and smartphones, you name it. You can waltz into an online store where you can play games, buy them, access DLC’s (downloadable content). To further enhance gameplay, performance, and user experience in general, video game publishers shoot out updates which bears testimony to the expansion in cloud services.

Most publishers are pushing the boundaries of hardware limitations but with this advancement in graphics and how big games are getting, there are still many obstacles that cloud gaming was originally intended to tackle that still continue to persist. Firstly, not everyone can afford a $1000 gaming PC or a $500 console, amounting to be a major problem with PC parts getting expensive and the new consoles being unavailable.

This is where platforms like Google Stadia come in, cloud gaming essentially is a game that lives completely on servers and in the cloud. They are all on the data centers and run off servers, meaning you run the game of their servers, eliminating the need to not only run the game from your device but also to download it. This is revolutionary advantage to gamers as they can run now brand-new titles on practically any device in their house!

To take advantage of this, major companies such as Google and Amazon are working on creating the perfect cloud platform with hyper-scale cloud capabilities and content and games delivery across the globe. Many publishers are working with the telecom industry to figure out how to get these services to everyone.

Google Stadia showing off its controller, chromecast and cross play options!
Google Stadia showing off its controller, chromecast and cross play options! Source:

This also means gamers will not have compatibility issues as they can run the games on any platform available, no matter low-end it is. This is a messiah for the gamer community which will increase security, eliminate piracy, and brings down individual costs. Most of these platforms work the same way as any other streaming platform where it bites your pocket a bit every month and gives you access to an ocean of games that you can play anytime, anywhere provided your internet connection is solid.

One company has recently has been circulating in the news because they are expanding their services to enter the gaming streaming industry, Netflix! Yeah that Netflix where you get your late night binge sessions from is going to delve into the gaming streaming! Netflix is currently experiencing its worst slowdown in subscriber growth due to COVID regulations easing and more people going out hence they decided to offer video games for no extra cost starting with Mobile games!

They even hired Mike Verdu as the vice president, he previously not only worked for Electronic Arts but also Facebook where he worked to bring games and content to the Oculus VR headsets! Similar to what they offer with their documentaries and specials, they will be appearing alongside the movies and TV shows.

They have previously delved into the gaming industry with licensing the rights to some of their shows like the “Stranger things” game or even the choose your own adventure type shows such as Black Mirror: Bandersnatch or Minecraft: Story mode which lets the viewer control the decisions of the main character and also leaves you completely mind blown by the end of it but this initiative is said to be MUCH larger than previously tried.

Minecraft: Story mode, an interactive show where you get to choose what the protaginist does and is based on the famous game Minecraft
Minecraft: Story mode, an interactive show where you get to choose what the protaginist does and is based on the famous game MinecraftSource:

Is this the future? Yes and no. To be frank, the current state of cloud gaming isn’t as exciting as was expected by gamers. The technology itself is a presentation of the predicted future. Google Stadia is a great example of this as it is well equipped with the best hardware to deliver such a platform that is slowly showing promising results but with companies like Netflix entering the industry, you never know what might happen. Nobody expected Netflix to take over blockbuster but now some of the readers will be asking themselves what is blockbuster and to that I say exactly!

Cloud gaming is a service that can provide so much more accessibility to gamers and non-gamers around the world. You can have friends and family who have never played or never entered this hobby because of how expensive it now just try it out and see if they want to invest time. Those who might have a passion for gaming but cannot afford the latest and greatest can now play their favorite video games right form their phone!

But hardcore gamers still enjoy the essence of the physical game and mind you, these are the gamers who already own or have the means to buy a new console which brings up the question-who is this for and why is this being made? Bigger companies are being seen making the move with even Xbox joining in.

Xbox showing its cloud service running on a mobile phone throug their app, one of their many options
Xbox showing its cloud service running on a mobile phone throug their app, one of their many optionsSource:

“All the major gaming companies – Sony, Nintendo, Microsoft – will update its flagship console this fall, but the next big platform might not be a box or a plastic disc or even a download. It’s cloud gaming.”

says Kareem Choudhry, VP of Gaming Cloud at Microsoft.

Features such as cross-platform sync and portability are the main two factors that attract gamers, giving them the luxury to play anywhere and sync across devices. What a time to be alive and gaming, indeed!

Companies are also looking to introduce this platform in the esports industry but latency i.e., the time delay between user action and the culminating response acts as a major roadblock here. Esports is a fast-paced atmosphere which is why the essential pillars of cloud gaming will have to be stronger than ever and this is where the industry’s partnerships with telecom companies come into the picture. What’s needed is a strong 5G network that can withstand an esports environment, enabling it to run on a cloud-based platform.

With more companies venturing into this industry, the telecom market is making strides in 5G networking, making the cloud a significant part of our lives. This integration with gaming is enabling its democratization and skyrocketing accessibility, proving to be a revolutionary step ahead into the future of the industry.

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