Gaming in the cloud is a promising vision for the video game industry as a whole. It posits that a player can choose a game from a vast online library and start playing without downloading it. It functions similarly to streaming platforms like Netflix.
So, it’s no wonder many gaming enthusiasts are diving in. According to Microsoft’s Q1 fiscal 2023 earnings report, 20 million people have streamed games over Xbox Cloud Gaming. That means the future of cloud gaming is bright.
And with investments in 5G technology and more cloud platforms, the market size may grow exponentially in the years to come. An analysis report on Yahoo estimates that the cloud gaming market size will reach $20.94 billion by 2030.
It’s clear that the cloud is set to transform gaming. Here are several ways cloud computing is already helping the video game industry:
1. High Accessibility
Everyone thought that cloud gaming will spell the death of consoles, but that’s not the case. The cloud provides an alternative revenue source for game developers, especially those that originally focused on console-exclusive IPs.
Cloud games can also work on multiple devices. For instance, Xbox Cloud Gaming can be accessed on Android, Apple, and Windows devices, as well as on Xbox consoles and Samsung smart TVs.
Since cloud gaming’s business model is like Netflix’s, the costs to play video games will be much cheaper. You’ll already have access to an extensive library of games instead of purchasing titles individually.
For instance, Nvidia’s cloud gaming service, GeForce Now, is currently free. But you can also sign up to priority plans for just $10 a month or $50 for 6 months. That’s relatively cost-effective, as opposed to buying games that typically cost $60 at launch.
This affordability will attract more people to play video games in the years to come.
3. Shorter Development Time
Currently, triple A video games take years to develop. The longest development time for a game spans more than a decade. Duke Nukem Forever spent 15 years in development, while Metroid Dread took 16 years. However, cloud versions for popular titles only take a few years to make.
Using cloud service providers means developers don’t need to build their games from scratch. They can easily spin up clusters provided by the platform.
Developers that use cloud platforms to build games typically encounter frictionless performance. For example, Sega Hardlight has been using MongoDB online for games like Sonic Forces: Speed Battle and Kingdom Conquest Dark Empire.
The platform easily scaled to handle millions of users playing the game. There was no service interruption and the database was stable with low latency.
Many games and consoles have been hacked before, resulting in players’ identities being stolen by cyber criminals.
On the other hand, cloud platforms come with industry-standard security features, preventing anyone from tampering with the data.
Additionally, games being in the cloud will make it more difficult to pirate them, since they don’t have a physical existence and cannot be downloaded.
Current Limitations of the Cloud
Of course, the technology doesn’t come without its cons. Currently, there are issues that developers are working hard to iron out.
First, graphics-intensive games in the cloud require a large amount of bandwidth to work smoothly. Players will only be able to enjoy them fully if they have fast internet connection speeds.
Second, to combat the high bandwidth, some developers have opted to release a compressed version of their games. Naturally, this resulted in a degradation of quality.
To be fair, cloud gaming is still in active development. It will definitely improve in the coming years, as more technologies are introduced. In the meantime, we can subscribe to a cloud gaming service for an affordable price and enjoy playing our favorite titles on any device. For more gaming news, do visit Get Pixie’s gaming section.