Most video game companies have begun to invest in cloud gaming, with some believing that the technology will come to replace traditional consoles within the next two generations. Activision Blizzard disagrees, however, stating that there are issues with the current state of streaming technology that make mobile gaming a more profitable endeavour in the short term.
This came to light in a call with investors surrounding the company’s second quarter results, via GamesIndustry.biz. COO Collister Johnson expressed interest in streaming technology, claiming that it will prove to be “a very strong positive” for the video game industry, but the technology might be a little further off than other sources indicate.
Currently, Activision Blizzard is “in dialogue with large global tech platform providers about their cloud infrastructure and potential streaming solutions” in order to overcome the obstacles in the way of widespread adoption of the technology in the near future. “We feel like there’s still work to be done before the tech is ready for mainstream adoption,” explained Collister. “We do think this will happen. Probably not in the near term, and we’re well positioned when it does.”
One of the main persistent issues is latency, particularly in the way of multiplayer games, but even story driven experiences can be hindered by input lag. While others smooth over the technology, Activision Blizzard will instead be looking towards its mobile division according to Collister, with its recent pairing with mobile goliath Tencent in order to bring Call of Duty to smartphones in China.
This doesn’t mean that the publisher devalues the worth of cloud gaming, it just doesn’t see streaming as a viable route in the immediate future. “We think it’s a large opportunity,” said Collister. “We have really deeply engaged communities who are really looking for experiences to have with them throughout the day.”
“It has the potential to significantly expand the reach of our big screen experiences to audiences that don’t have a console. And in some cases don’t have a PC, depending on the streaming system you’re talking about. And second, even for existing gamers, streaming systems…should be able to provide more easily accessible experiences, reducing friction, enabling deeper ongoing engagement throughout the day as the content is more available.
“When you look at our incubation pipeline, or when we look at it, we get really excited about what that future can bring,” concludes Hollister.
KitGuru Says: I’m not certain cloud gaming will ever really be as big of a money maker as mobile gaming, but it definitely has a bright future ahead of it provided internet speeds can catch up. Even if streaming technology was smoothed out on the publisher’s end, it’s unlikely many users in the UK could make good use of it given its current infrastructure. Are you excited for cloud gaming?