Cloud computing is a disruptive force in the business of gaming. Not only is it revolutionizing how gamers purchase and play games, but redefining how developers and publishers run their businesses.
The gaming community disagrees over what cloud can mean for the future of their industry, but nearly all agree it is becoming increasingly important.
In a newly published whitepaper by Video Games Intelligence, Chris Petrovic, former head of Gamestop, says, "One of the challenges facing our industry is to settle on a definition of ‘cloud’– and then what it means for particular businesses."
The dream for cloud gaming is a 24/7 online, streaming service where players no longer need physical hardware to enjoy the games they love. Though this vision is still quite a ways off, the cloud is finding new ways to displace traditional gaming norms.
For example, as players continue to adopt tablets at an alarming rate, developers are already integrating second screens to create pervasive, multi touch-point experiences that encourage players to invest, interact and play wherever they want.
Petrovic says, "Second screens obviously provide a wide variety of game-related solutions and functionality today – and that is only going to increase over time. Today, we’re seeing everything from the WiiU, to smartphones and tablets, to deliver everything from companion apps to stand-alone games."
With new technology comes new opportunity, and the boldest and most innovative developers are looking to use the cloud to create not just multi-platform games, but true cross-platform experiences. A PC gamer could play with a console gamer, because the PC and the console have become irrelevant to the gaming experience. The ability to innovate and harness the cloud to augment and subvert traditional game design will set the successful apart as the industry moves into the new era of gaming.