The video game industry is one of the most flourishing in the world of technology, after having surpassed the film industry in terms of sales, is preparing for the next revolution. That of playing without a specific device but only thanks to an internet connection and a screen, launching new scenarios in front of you.
Video games have been played practically forever. The evolution from the gaming booth at the bar to the social games children of the Internet1 has been fast, fun and profitable, culminating in an estimated 2018 turnover of 137.92 billion dollars, business practically doubled in just 6 years.
The more and more massive adoption of internet and mobile devices has played a decisive role in this regard, estimates speak in fact of a market share held to 51% by mobile/tablet devices and the rest contended between pc/game consoles and web games. A worldwide phenomenon in which more than 50% of the players belong to the Asia Pacific area, the rest to the rest of the world with a prevalence of EU/USA.
One big problem of the gaming is just the fragmentation of the players. Date from various factors, like:
The genre of the game
- RPG (Role Playing Game)
The game device
- PC / Mac
- Home consoles (Playstation, Xbox, Nintendo)
- Handheld consoles (Nintendo 3ds, Playstation Vita, Nintendo Switch)
The type of game
- Single player
- Triple-A (games produced by major production companies)
- Indie (self produced games from small independent studios)
- Abandonware (games developed in the past that no longer have commercial interest and are released for free)
The modalities of fruition
- License/Key Purchase
- Pay to win (games released for free, called pay to win because they give game advantages to the player who pays)
Because of this fragmentation, the next frontier among the big market players will be to unify and create an ecosystem, on the SaaS (Software as a Service) model à la Netflix, to enjoy games independently from the platform. This is how the concept of Cloud Gaming was born.
Cloud gaming, or even games on demand, are/will be those video games which will no longer be distributed only through traditional gaming devices, but will be distributed "physically". in the online servers of the platform that hosts them.
In this way the player no longer needs to buy a dedicated device or download the game (often very voluminous in terms of download size), but simply by accessing the platform (just like they do on Netflix and similar) can play it directly in the cloud and regardless of the tool with which it is accessed. So a given video game will be playable from a smart-tv, smartphone, pc or console only thanks to an internet connection and a screen.
The big tech companies have all launched the challenge to this new revolution. After Nvidia (Geforce Now) and Sony (Playstation Now), Google (Stadia) and Microsoft (XCloud) have also joined the competition, as well as startups (Vortex is one of the most interesting).
It's still very unclear whether cloud gaming will supplant the current ecosystem, but certainly if it does, it will happen slowly precisely because of the great complexity that governs it. Furthermore, the very business model that each distributor will adopt is still unclear. There is general talk of offering players the opportunity to access the platform by paying a monthly subscription. Thanks to this subscription you will be able to access a database of games that can be played for free, while others (such as Triple-A) will be purchasable at a premium. Cloud gaming is just around the corner, a phenomenon to be observed with great attention.