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The broad industry consensus is that cloud gaming is not ready for prime time, it’s over hyped, and gamers have shown such resistance in 2020 to streaming that there is no way 2021 is the breakout year. The three major obstacles to cloud gaming are latency, libraries, and local play. Latency is still too high and game libraries are too thin to meet gamers’ expectations and to get these services off the ground.
Although I concur with the consensus, I do believe that cloud gaming is about to take off – and here is why. Technical hurdles will be overcome and content libraries will improve. The vast growth of the video games industry attracts new players and services, just like Google Stadia. Competition is fierce, putting pressure on value-for-money. But I also believe that without offline, local play, gamers will largely reject streaming. Users need to be reassured that a game service doesn’t just simulate ownership – it actually delivers the best of game ownership and instant access to a vast game library. I call this Ownership as a Service.
Game Ownership as a Service
Ownership and local play are essential to gamers. Game ownership is a feeling, and it’s real and it’s complicated. Streaming as a service requires gamers to accept a EULA eroding and potentially denying them pride of ownership. Like a great card collection, a user’s game library is the ultimate game badge, a coveted achievement for which they are willing to pay real dollars.
Cloud Gaming Won’t Take off Without Local Play
Today gamers embrace digital download over physical discs because it’s more convenient and efficient. The moment the installation was at least as fast via download as from a physical disc, gamers only had to overcome the nostalgia of their bookshelf collectibles. So in this light, bundling local play and streaming into one service, gamers keep what they love (including their modded, custom tailored hardware) but are becoming early subscribers to a new era. To ease the pain from letting go of beloved boxes, game stores are offering curated libraries for collectors who clung onto their bookshelves. Similar to the shift from disc to download, offline play is the perfect bridge to kick-start cloud gaming. This could improve a user’s sense that the EULA they are being offered is something BETTER than today’s ownership. And offering a better and differentiated service is the critical prerequisite to takeoff.
The Best of Both Worlds
ROCKITPLAY FastStart technology bridges the gap between the local play / ownership paradigm and the cloud / subscription paradigm. Instead of persuading gamers to let go of their hand crafted high performance PCs, ROCKITPLAY delivers instant-like access to downloadable content, honors ownership and let’s gamers keep their uncompromised local, native play they enjoy today.
ROCKITPLAY is SaaS for digital stores and publishers that easily converts any game or game library into a click-to-play experience. With ROCKITPLAY, a game can start with as little as 1% downloaded while the rest continues to download in the background. It also reduces patch size by 20% to over 50%, creating lightning fast updates.