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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Comments

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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Andrew EisenOh hell no. No, it took Nintendo a while just to get to the point its competitors have been at for a while!09/23/2014 - 2:26pm
IanCSame as PSN handles it, fi you are trying to say only nintendo do that.09/23/2014 - 2:23pm
Andrew EisenYou have to try to purchase something first. Pick a game, hit purchase and if your wallet doesn't have enough to cover it, you'll be given an option to "add exact funds" or something like that.09/23/2014 - 2:05pm
MonteI have seen no option for that on my 3DS; anytime i want to add funds it only gives me the option to add in denominations of $10, 20, 50 or 10009/23/2014 - 2:03pm
IanCWhat Andrew Wilson said. PSN is the same when you make a purchase over a certain price (£5 in the UK)09/23/2014 - 2:02pm
Andrew EisenNeither eShop charges sales tax either. At least in California.09/23/2014 - 2:00pm
Andrew EisenBoth Wii U and 3DS eShops allow you to add funds in the exact amount of whatever's in your shopping cart. If your game is $39.99, you can add exactly $39.99.09/23/2014 - 1:57pm
Infophile@Matthew Wilson: As I understand it, any regulations to force tax online would also set up an easy database for these stores to use, minimizing overhead.09/23/2014 - 1:30pm
MonteReally, the eshop just does next to nothing to make buying digitally advantagous for the customer. Its nice to have the game on my 3DS, but i can get more for less buying a physical copy at retail. And that's not even counting buying used09/23/2014 - 1:18pm
MonteIanC, The Eshop wallet system only lets you add funds in set denominations and the tax makes sure you no longer have round numbers so you ALWAYS loose money. A $39.99 game for instance requires you to add $50 instead of just $4009/23/2014 - 1:13pm
Matthew Wilsonbut thats just it those sites, even the small ones, sell all over the country.09/23/2014 - 11:12am
Neenekoeither that or it would follow the car model of today. big ticket items are taxed according to your residence, not where you buy them.09/23/2014 - 11:07am
NeenekoI doubt it would be the retailer that handles the tax in the first place. If it goes through it would probably be folded in as a service on the processor end or via 'turbotax' style applications.09/23/2014 - 11:05am
Matthew Wilsonsimple there are over 10k tax areas in the us for sales tax. it would be impossible for small online retailers to handle that.09/23/2014 - 10:55am
IanCWhats wrong with charging tax in an online shop?09/23/2014 - 10:47am
E. Zachary KnightI don't see why it would be that difficult to maintain one. Especially for a news outlet with multiple people on the payroll.09/23/2014 - 9:37am
Matthew Wilsonthey can, but will they? more inportantly will the traditional sites be willing to do the extra work to maintain the list?09/23/2014 - 9:02am
E. Zachary KnightSo how will it reduce the power of the traditional games press? They can create curated stores too.09/23/2014 - 8:39am
Matthew WilsonI think its a good thing, but it does mean traditional games press will have less power than ever before. To be fair most of the gaming press were never big on pc gaming anyways.09/23/2014 - 8:33am
E. Zachary KnightMatthew, is that a bad or good thing?09/23/2014 - 7:43am
 

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