THQ: Cloud Gaming is the Future

September 8, 2011 -

THQ CEO Brian Farrell said at the Cloud Gaming USA conference in San Jose today that cloud gaming is the future and that - to paraphrase what he actually said - will inevitably cannibalize traditional retail, with console makers dropping the need for discs on the next generation of consoles.

"No physical goods cost for game makers,” said Farrell. “No inventory, no markdowns, and all the money spent by the consumer would go to the developer or publisher."

Farrell also noted that in this new environment company's like his would have a better opportunity to offer customers top-level service:

“Our games are always on and our players are always connected....We have the opportunity to interact with players in new ways that can be reactive to their desires, play habits, and buying habits. The box, ship and done model are transitioning to: observe, measure, and modify."

And with this paradigm shift into the clouds, THQ's top executive says that his company would be willing to tinker with new pricing models. Using MX vs. ATV Alive as an example. instead of selling that game at the normal price THQ sold the game for $39.99 with lots of optional content.

"But what we found was unlike free to play, $39.99 just wasn't low enough to drive a big enough install base to push the level of DLC we had initially hoped for."

Farrell concluded by saying that technology alone is not enough to steer the ship to the magical journey into the cloud:

"Technology alone will not give a clear benefit to the consumer," Farrell cautions. "Cloud computing and data storage could potentially do a lot, but it's what we do with it as game designers and publishers that really matters most."

Source: GI.biz

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Re: THQ: Cloud Gaming is the Future

"The Cloud" is just a marketing term. The way he throws it around says he really doesn't understand it. He is just talking about another digital storefront and file service. All the money won't go to the publisher and developer. Just like in retail, whatever storefront will take their bite first.

And always online? Are you kidding me? Network hardware and software is incredibly complex and prone to failure. Without massive redundancy on their end and a magic pixie at your local ISP, there is no guarantee of "always online".

And don't get me started on the programming requirements for a custom built online service…

Re: THQ: Cloud Gaming is the Future

Yeah...I hope Cloud gaming never takes place its going on right now but what would stop them for charging a service fee and then a monthly fee? We had this for SEGA TV years ago and now OnLive I would never support a complete Cloud Service unless I agree with its policies and its something like how Steam is. Basically all Cloud Gaming is, is cutting costs but do you think they will lower the price?

No Cloud Gaming will be the final form of DRM which will make a gaming Depression. I don't see people conumers supporting this. This looks good to the stock holders but to the average joe its a lot of waste. I love Digital Gaming but only it the service is right.

PS3 as is it's monthly service if you guy a game with it's discount and then you don't stay with the service you lose the game and must rebuy full price again or go back to Playstation Plus

Re: THQ: Cloud Gaming is the Future

Cloud gaming is to retro gaming what TV is to theatres and DVDs. It's just another way to go. When TVs came out, movie theatres were terrified they were going to go out of business but they survived in their own category. Same with retro gaming.

Re: THQ: Cloud Gaming is the Future

Whilst cloud gaming is a sign of progress, it is not necessarily a sign of the future.

Lowering production costs means nothing if your sales ends up being lower because less people can buy your products.

Let's not forget about the current situation surrounding EA's Origin and Valve's Steam.

Re: THQ: Cloud Gaming is the Future

It may be the future, it may not but one thing is for certain we are not there yet. The next round of consoles will have physical media. While US broadband is much better today than it was 10 years ago we still have things like data caps, duopolies, relatively low speeds and all those things are going to conspire with an audience that isn't totally ready to ditch retail and physical discs and bottom line is we aren't going to see a gaming space like he is talking about for another 10 years at least.

I think even then though that we'll still see a mix of online sales and retail sales. If there is money to made in a market someone will make it and if there is even 15% of the market that prefers to buy retail you'll see someone publish in retail channels.

This is the developer/publisher wet dream of course, they retain all control, second sale dissappears and piracy becomes harder. The advantages to the gamer are not so pronounced, although done right things like cloud saves and play anywhere could be compelling features.

Re: THQ: Cloud Gaming is the Future

"No physical goods cost for game makers,” said Farrell. “No inventory, no markdowns, and all the money spent by the consumer would go to the developer or publisher."
And no more purchases by me. Hello retro only.

Re: THQ: Cloud Gaming is the Future

My ass.

Re: THQ: Cloud Gaming is the Future

... to finish our sentences?

 
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