back to article Cloud vendors can't resist the lucrative smell of gaming dollars – and they're all in it to win it

For better or worse, it looks like cloud computing is here to stay. Among other things, "someone else's computer" is changing how people buy and consume entertainment, and after murdering television, the cloud is now messing with the very nature of video games. Games are the biggest entertainment industry, dwarfing home video …

  1. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

    i thought the crytek engine was pretty good with low resources these days. it certainly is on my pc!

    also the unreal engine is free isnt it?

    1. macjules Silver badge

      Is Unreal free? I thought it was on a licensing system so free to develop upon, but chargeable at something like a percentage royalty on gross revenue over a threshold.

      Wonder how long it will be before Mr Bezos works that one out.

      1. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

        percentage royalty on gross revenue over a threshold.

        sorry , yeah , that's what i meant.

        so not in fact free , assuming you do something with it

      2. Sauraus

        Lumberyard has the same parameters as Unreal, free up to a certain revenue.

  2. baud

    "[Unity], the world's most widely used game engine"

    where does this come from? On wikipedia, there are only figures for mobile and VR ("As of 2018, Unity has been used to create approximately half of the new mobile games on the market and 60 percent of augmented reality and virtual reality content") and I haven't found anything else.

    1. Enki

      I know that Unity was used for Heartstone, which alone might put it at the top for game engines. I know it's also used for Harebrained Studios Battletech series and for the new Lion King movie. I'm sure there are others, but I don't know any of the top of my mind. It's definitely becoming popular among my daughter's IMGD major crowd, and I would guess they are young enough not to get the Crisis joke.

    2. Sauraus

      Only 3 (4) commercial game engines

      There are only 3 (4) commercial game engines on the market:

      1) Unity (C#)

      2) Unreal (C++)

      3) Crytek (C++/C#)

      4) Lumberyard (Crytek)

      EA has a proprietary game engine called Frostbite, that came out of DICE in Sweden, ActivisionBlizzard uses various game engines including propriety depending on the game.

      With that I don't doubt that Unity has the biggest market share, although from professional experience I will say that Unreal has the largest market share when it comes to Console/PC AAA titles.

  3. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    "Nobody knows if it will really work for the mass market"

    Um, game streaming is, if I'm not mistaken, integrated by default into a lot of games these days, and there is an order of magnitude more channels on YouTube that are all about showing what players are doing on a multitude of games.

    So, crazy as it sounds, I do think there is a use case for game streaming. The only problem is choosing to uphold streaming for the popular games. Well, if you want to monetize it, that is, and since we're talking about the Cloud, of course they want to monetize it.

    So, the question is not "will game streaming work for the mass market" ? It already is. The real question is : "can we make money out of it ?".

    1. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

      Re: "Nobody knows if it will really work for the mass market"

      "The real question is : "can we make money out of it ?"."

      Kids will pay $50 for weapon skin, so probly yes thay can make money.

      kids be idiots with their money.

      The advantage of game streaming will be high quality graphics for people who dont have a £1000 games "rig".

      Thats gotta be a marketable angle surely!

    2. rmason Silver badge

      Re: "Nobody knows if it will really work for the mass market"

      @Pascal Monett

      This isn't about streaming games as in videos of gamers playing ( what we currently get on YT, twitch etc) but physically streaming the game itself from the cloud.

      I.e plug a controller into a screen connected to the internet, connect to a game on google's cloud, and have their cloud handle the compute/ram/gpu etc requirements.

      The monetisation is built in.

      Pay us £x per month, and have access to every game hosted on the service.

      Think netflix. I don't pay for a movie, I pay netflix for all their movies.

      This would be no more guying games, simply pay your monthlies to your provider or providers of choice, and get all their games.

      1. MonkeyCee Silver badge

        Re: "Nobody knows if it will really work for the mass market"

        "This would be no more guying games, simply pay your monthlies to your provider or providers of choice, and get all their games."

        Not a console owner, but I got the impression PS Plus was pretty much this.

        Not so much all the games, you have a library. But you get some number of "rental" ones that you can switch around.

        The game saves to the cloud are also a big appeal.

        1. CanaryWundaboy

          Re: "Nobody knows if it will really work for the mass market"

          PS plus gives you unlimited access to select titles every month, whatever game is selected that month you can purchase for free, and as long as you keep up your PS sub, it's yours. Stop paying the sub and you lose access.

          What we're discussing here is closer to Xbox's Game Pass which allows access to a massive number of games for a select monthly fee, just like Netflix does for movies.

  4. MonkeyCee Silver badge

    Slow news day?

    Cloud is a fancy term for hosted services, albeit with more tools etc.

    Having the gaming server hosted on someone else;s hardware has been pretty common for a decade, and before that depended a bit on what your ISP felt.

    Seeing as 99% of players never run a server (unless hosting) I don't really see how this is going to make any difference.

    The "rent a rig" is stupid too, unless they are getting a massive price break somewhere. Compare the rental price points that are discussed, and compare them to the cost of buying your own on credit and paying it off over 24 months. So if you can afford it, then you're better off owning it, especially if you're planning on playing on it for more than a few hours at a time.

    I believe MS is serious when you can use an xbox like this.

    1. Grikath

      Re: Slow news day?

      The "rent-a-rig" isn't stupid fom a commercial point of view...

      There is such a thing as platform lock-in, you know.. So it's not rent-"a"-rig, but "rent-several-at-once for the convenient price of...." as opposed to buying an ungodly amount of hardware to play whatever you feel like today.

      And licencing aside ( but you're talking about an industry that's gotten good at licensing..) , it makes a lot of sense to do a single proper conversion of a popular game for cloud delivery, as opposed to having to do it for multiple platforms, each with their own idiosyncrasies and challenges. Especially since you open up your game to the entire potential gaming market, instead of just the part that owns [consoleX].

    2. Great Bu

      Re: Slow news day?

      But by the time you pay off your cutting edge gaming rig in 24 months it is obsolete.....and you need to get another. If you are paying, let's say, $20 a month for the gaming service then you spend less than $500 over the 24 month period on your "gaming rig" and it's always up to spec for whatever game you want to play. This would also cover the cost of the games themselves too. Hard price to beat with the "own your own" model....

  5. JohnFen Silver badge

    Doubling down

    It was the requirement to go online that drove me away from most games in the first place. I guess the game industry is doubling down on that sort of nonsense.

    1. FlamingDeath Bronze badge

      Re: Doubling down

      On the plus side, at least patching is less painful

  6. FlamingDeath Bronze badge
    Megaphone

    Online Cheaters...

    Hopefully game streaming will finally put a stop to it, bloody idiots

    1. Claptrap314 Silver badge

      Re: Online Cheaters...

      Oh, you summer's child.....

  7. Sauraus

    Unity is a Danish company not American

    Small nuance on your reporting, Unity is a Danish company, led by former EA CEO John Riccitiello.

  8. Reg Reader 1

    It still bothers me that most, maybe all new, games cannot be played in multi-user mode on XBox. I remember when my two children could each log into their XBox and two friends could as well and play with or against each other on the one device. Games seem to have developed away from that and that does bother me.Talk about a money grab.

    1. OrientalHero

      funnily enough, I bought a Switch for my kids because it's very much about the co-op play...!

      But rather than do the gut feel about games losing that couch playability, do a search here...

      https://www.co-optimus.com/system/24/xbox-one.html#

  9. Adelio

    on-line gaming

    Being an old fart I have never felt the need to play on-line games.

    My preference is single player games like Supreme Commander, quake, Doom, Wolfenstein etc.

    Actually, I hardly ever play now, hard to find anything new to play (ON PC).

    I definately do NOT want multiplayer gameplay.

    1. Reg Reader 1

      Re: on-line gaming

      I was in my mid-twenties when Doom came out and I enjoyed that game. Played Quake a bit too, but maybe I was a bit old by then to be bitten hard by the gaming bug.

      As a side note, my daughter-in-law who's in her mid-twenties is expressing some interest in old school D&D so we may facilitate a family Sunday evenings D&D event. I'm looking forward to that. It appears there's a rip in that universe's time continuum and the D&D goes to edition 5 and that Pathfinder is similar to edition 3, I think.

      Anyone have any advice on D&D versus Pathfinder?

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