Cloud Gaming, The Next Big Thing?
Die-hard fans of the Saints Row, War Hammer, and WWE series woke up to a shock when THQ filed for chapter 11 Bankruptcy. This is not the end for THQ as stated by the companies President Jason Rubin. But it does lead to some important questions. What is going on in the gaming industry?
The gaming market has stuck with what they know in this economy. Keeping franchises alive such as Call of Duty, Madden, Halo and many other large scale franchises.
The problem today that no one talks about is the game studios being consumed by larger companies. They will say“your favorite games will not be cut or put on the back burner”. But as gamers, we know the truth and have seen it time and time again. When a small studio is consumed, many of the amazing games they were working on get shelved or canceled. This is not to say THQ is small by any means, but they are in many ways the very reasons the gaming industry is suffering. The game designers, programmers, etc… will be pushed on to new projects; not allowed to focus on the game they were originally hired to work on.
The other problem you run into with these companies is that they have monopolized the market and stifled competition. When a game company has competition it makes its games better and faster; this held true for the Madden Series by the EA Sports Division until they acquired the exclusive NFL license. These companies get lazy, and gameplay suffers. Companies like THQ can’t compete when they are unable to develop block buster hits year after year. They are forced to create games that allow them to just tread water.
As hard core gamers will always find another franchise game to call their “precious” from Lord of the Rings. I beg to wonder, is the gaming industry starting to cater only to the mobile markets and low cost games?
As the iPhone came into the market for the first time, you realized this is when the gaming companies started to suffer. Not taking into account the financial collapse of the United States. There was a shift on focus at this time, and how games were developed. The iPhone essentially brings back the Gameboy system in a form of mobile phones. This is when companies realized, they don’t have to spend millions on a game; they could spend 90% less building on a mobile platform that will reach more people. Hence why Angry Birds became a phenomenon during this time. But is the income from these mobile platforms as great, as the games that originally sold at $60 a pop? Only time will tell, but the bread and butter for now is still home entertainment, and the 4TH generation Gaming Systems will hopefully bring in the new ERA of gaming.
Gaming will always be the reason for more power for a device. This was the case before mobile came around. This is why you see phones beefed up with multi core processors, ram and independent graphics. For an amazing game to be created for a mobile phone you need more space, more power and a graphics system that can handle it all. If not, you will end up with a game that has boxy pixelated characters and very short gameplay. This effects battery life, usage of the device, and of course sales. How does a company resolve this?
You will see this become more prevalent in the 4th Generation Consoles. Companies like GameStop will need to prepare for this because cloud gaming will be able to bring Console/PC graphics to any device anywhere with the right broadband. Online is the biggest example of this right now with PC games. The true downfall of this of course, is that it is PC only, but maybe proprietary gaming systems are not the answer.
Services that currently offer Cloud Gaming:
PSN NETWORK / (Downloadable Games)
XBOX LIVE (Downloadable Games)
Steam (Downloadable Games/ Stored in the Cloud)
Origin (Downloadable Games/ Stored in the Cloud)
Amazon (Downloadable Games)
Best Buy (Downloadable Games)
ONLIVE (Play Live, PC Games Only)
Technology already Available