Written by Feliks Olko
7 min read
Cloud Gaming Newsletter: December 2020
Major Industry Developments
The Key Stories from this Month
- Mobile Network Operators [MNOs] are realising the lucrative business opportunity of cloud gaming and are now looking for a piece of the market
- Google has acquired Montreal-based game studio Typhoon Studios adding it to the Stadia Games and Entertainment team.
- To ensure its hardware isn't at the mercy of Google, Facebook has started building its own operating system giving the task to one of the co-authors of Microsoft’s Windows NT, Mark Lucovsky
- Alphabet’s Captain of Moonshots, Astro Teller; "If no one laughs, your idea isn’t big enough"
Astro Tellar | Captain of Moonshots, X
- Xiaomi will invest $7bn in 5G, Artificial Intelligence, and the Internet of Things over the next five years
- Along with precise details pulled from Bing Maps, the new Microsoft Flight Simulator folds in data and technical guidance from aircraft and avionics manufacturers for an incredibly realistic flying experience
- In video game revenues, Fortnite remains the top grossing video game on the market making $1.8bn in 2019 despite a 25% drop on the previous year, whilst PUBG Mobile earned in excess of $1.3 billion in revenue the during the same year
PUBG Mobile earned at least $1.3 billion in 2019
- PS5 and Xbox Series X GPU specs leak: how powerful is next-gen?
- Mobile game spending reached $210 million over the Christmas period, of which video games accounted for 76% of all mobile in-app spending that day
"63% of executives agree that if major game companies do not offer consumers cloud-based games, they will be at a disadvantage in five years.
Meanwhile, nearly 70% believe video gaming companies will distribute most Triple-A games wirelessly through the cloud within five-to-ten years."
– Scott Porter | West Media & Entertainment Advisory Leader, EY
PlayerUnknown Talks About The Mysterious ‘Prologue’
There isn’t yet much indication of what kind of game Prologue will be. But there’s a visual fidelity to the teaser that sets it immediately apart from PlayerUnknown Battlegrounds [PUBG], which had never made its name on photorealistic graphics.
That technical leap is part of what Greene wanted to do with this game: Prologue refers to the beginning of a longer process for PlayerUnknown productions, a way of testing and building new tech for something bigger.
The team decided that rather than cloister themselves in the Netherlands for five years while working on grand schemes, they would break those schemes into smaller parts as they built the technology that they’ll still guarded about discussing: hence Prologue.
They tried to figure out what, exactly, a PlayerUnknown game was: it would be experiential but also brutal and unforgiving, it would teach you mostly by asking you to get better.
If there’s one hint about what, actually, any of this means, it’s that Greene talks about how he’s always been fascinated by scale: PUBG defines itself by an experience that swings between tense, claustrophobic shootouts and the grand sense that there is a vast conflict out there far bigger than you could hold in your head in any one moment.
It was far from the first large-scale shooter on the market, but it always had that notion of being big enough that you could get lost in it, one way or another.
“This is the first step in the journey for me. We set up the studio, and founded it with the goal of experimenting with new technology.
Now we’re taking that first step towards building new technologies, and Prologue is the first step into the new world for us. I wanted the chance to deliver something new on a global scale.
I’ve got some pretty big dreams about what I want to achieve, that I’m not quite ready to achieve. It will require some new tech.
One of my dreams is to create worlds at scale. Hundreds of kilometre by hundreds kilometre, with thousands of people, and these are hugely difficult problems to solve.”
– Brendan Greene | Special Project Director, PUBG Corp
A16z’s Jonathan Lai and Andrew Chen looks back at 2019
Excerpts taken from A16z's State of Play: Six Trends Revolutionizing Games
Games have come a long way since Pong. Consisting of a single white pixel bouncing across the screen — a crude simulation of table tennis — the 1972 arcade classic was the nascent gaming industry’s first hit.
Since then, games have grown from a niche hobby into a dominant force in the entertainment industry. Last year, Rockstar’s Red Dead Redemption 2 grossed $725 million in its opening weekend, eclipsing Hollywood’s weekend box office record: the $640 million blockbuster Avengers Infinity War.
Next-generation games will be bigger than anything we’ve seen yet. While current multiplayer successes like Roblox tout 100 million monthly active users, new MMOs will strive for Facebook’s scale — 1 billion users. That’s because the way we develop, discover, and play games is rapidly evolving. The next generation of games will differ from their predecessors in six key ways:
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