We Don’t Need an Infrastructure Bill To Modernize Game Delivery & Put Game Subscriptions in the Fast Lane

Services like Netflix and YouTube have driven innovation in video compression technology to support lower latency, higher resolution and improved video quality. In the games industry we haven’t seen an analog – the core technology for delivering games has remained unchanged. Games and required patches continue to grow, and the advent of generative AI is making it easier to create more detailed, larger games. The impact is real: “Warzone dev says game is losing players over “insane” download sizes”, arstechnia.com 3/28/22, and developers need to leave out expansions and content. The cost and carbon footprint are staggering. Data transportation has a significant carbon footprint, and game delivery alone accounts for 5% to 10% of all Internet traffic in most countries.

These problems are magnified for subscription services, where the opportunity to provide access to a wide library of games gets bogged down by long download times and mind boggling drive space consumption. Users are accustomed to offload and download subscription content from Netflix or Spotify. The existing infrastructure seems poorly prepared to handle the challenges of big games driven through subscription services. Games can take several hours to download, which if you think about it, make game subscriptions bulky and unattractive. The most recent Steam survey states, 45% of gamers have less than 250GB of storage remaining. And the average internet speed is lower than you might think. This means that almost half of users only have room for a few more AAA titles before they run out of local storage.