A few weeks ago, I posted an entry on this blog about Cloud Computing for video games, including a poll. The poll results show that 40% of those who voted considered this as “definitely interesting”, while 29% of voters thought “I don’t think it can work, at least for the next few years”.
I personally agree with 29% of you then!
Let me explain. Cloud computing is nothing new, the term “Software as a Service” emerged in the very late 1990s (source). Actually these initiatives from Onlive and now Gaikai (announced just a few days after Onlive), are a pure transposition of this model applied to the video game market. As you may know, PC game sales has been declining for years, among others because of software piracy, and game developers and publishers have been concentrating on building consoles games to allow a more stable environment than Windows (with some many possible configurations, drivers, video cards installed etc.) and access people in their living room.
Today, it’s a perfect time to make announcements like the one we saw at the Game Developer Conference. Game developers and publishers are trying to find alternatives to the traditional brick and mortar sales channels to concentrate further on online delivery. It’s already successful with Xbox Live Arcade and growing with rivals Nintendo and Sony respective DSWare, WiiWare and PlayStation Networks.
I don’t deny at least part of the technology promised by these actors is working, though I think it will generate huge technical issues when deployed even in beta, but I think such shift will take years and years to become more than a drop in the game developer and publisher revenue share.
What do you think?