EA Declares That Cloud Gaming Will Add A Billion New Players
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Featured Image Credit: EA
EA's chief technology officer, Ken Moss, has spoken to GamesIndustry.biz about his hopes - and presumably the company's hopes, too - for streaming in the gaming space, in the near future.
EA is one of several active players in the cloud gaming space right now, with its Project Atlas service having started testing in September (2019) with games like Titanfall 2, Unravel and FIFA 19. File it beside Microsoft's xCloud, Google Stadia and PlayStation Now as a service which may or may not succeed or fail, and delete as appropriate when any of us have a realistic idea about this stuff. I guess sometime in 2021, if the world's not been completely consumed by hellfire by then.
Moss is certainly confident, telling the website that cloud gaming is "going to bring in another billion players into the gaming world". That's... That's quite a number there, Ken. Let's look at the wider quote for some essential context, shall we.
"With streaming, our motivations are to be where the players are so that they can play our games wherever and however they want," Moss told GIB. "Our actions are consistent with that. How cloud gaming evolves is uncertain right now, but it's going to bring in another billion players into the gaming world. We say we're at 2.6 billion or so right now. We want to make sure we're at the forefront, but also get the early learnings so we know how to change how we build our games in that world."
As GIB points out in its piece, EA doesn't yet have the same infrastructure as Google or Microsoft, which is why it's partnering with Microsoft, bringing several EA titles to xCloud when that service launches in 2020.
And getting chummy with a company that could otherwise be a competitor is a shrewd move, especially given the slow start that Stadia's seen. Google's service launched on November 19 and, well, it's hardly set the gaming world alight now, has it. Despite it being the sole free launch title for new customers, Destiny 2 on Stadia accounted for just 1.4% of the game's player base, according to this report. Ouch?
Moss isn't so down on the situation. "We've seen in other forms of entertainment that cloud streaming has been most effective when partnered with the subscription model," he continues, in the GIB piece. And, yes, true that, as Netflix and its ilk is illustrative of. "When those two come together is when the magic happens in other forms of entertainment. We see the same thing happening in gaming."
I mean, not quite yet we don't, but I get what Ken is saying and y'know, I admire his enthusiasm. We certainly weren't fully sold on Stadia when we tested it - but Microsoft's Game Pass subscription service continues to go from strength to strength, and I can't see that not being a massive boon for xCloud when it rolls out.
Of course, all the positive spin around cloud gaming could prove to be a load of hot air. A ha. Ha. Haaa.