The announcement of Stadia by Google seems to have brought out new perspectives in the videogames world. We started talking about cloud gaming, despite the fact that in the past platforms based on a streaming game were already available (PlayStation Now and GeForce Now on all of them). Microsoft also hastily confirmed the arrival of its competitor xCloud and Sony ran for cover by signing a partnership with the Redmond group in order not to be caught unprepared.
Is there really a revolution on the horizon (as Google claims with its claim “The future of video games is not a console”) or are the current market balances destined to remain unchanged for a long time to come? David Haddad, number one of Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, spoke about it during his speech on the pages of VentureBeat.
WBIE on Stadia, cloud gaming and consoles
Haddad’s consideration, it should be pointed out, does not only refer to Stadia and other cloud gaming services, but more generally to those that offer access to a catalog of subscription titles, even if the download is requested and the local installation. Electronic Arts has been doing this for years, while other publishers such as Ubisoft and Square Enix have recently put on paper the intention to propose something similar soon.
There are players who want to try more than two or three titles a year, a number that today represents an average. Some may like the idea of a subscription that allows you to try and play many. The standard behavior, however, is that which sees players spending most of their time on a few carefully chosen titles able to position themselves in the high price range of the market. I think there will be a mix of the two formulas.
Regarding specifically the streaming games, Haddad added the following, expressing perplexity towards the theories of those who see an epochal change for the videogames field.
I would go slow with the thesis that streaming will automatically lead the entire industry to a subscription-based model.
In short, according to Haddad, the PC and console platforms will probably continue to run around for quite a while, despite Google’s claims and despite what many assume. Almost certainly, if there is a transition process, it will be gradual and progressive, not as immediate and as sudden as someone claims. After all, this was also the case with the transition from physical to digital support: the copies on disk continue to be sold, albeit with volumes gradually decreasing over the years.