Written by Feliks Olko

10 min read

Cloud Gaming Newsletter: November 2019

  • Gaming

Major Industry Developments

The Key Stories from this Month

John Carmack Quake


The end of year has also led to a flurry of final financing activities:

Image result for vc investment gaming 2019

EA: "Cloud gaming is going to bring in another billion players"

Outside of Google, Xbox and PlayStation, Electronic Arts is another huge company taking major strides in the game streaming space with Project Atlas. At Microsoft's X019 event, CTO Ken Moss announced several more EA titles will be coming to xCloud and gave more information about EA's huge investment in Artificial Intelligence, Cloud Streaming and Technology. Read the full article.

ken-moss"I truly believe that these forces – cloud and AI – will change just about everything in games... I don't even think that's a bold prediction. How cloud gaming evolves is uncertain right now, but it's going to bring in another billion players into the gaming world. We say we're at 2.6 billion or so right now. We want to make sure we're at the forefront, but also get the early learnings so we know how to change how we build our games in that world."

– Ken Moss | Chief Technology Officer, Electronic Arts

Cloud Gaming: What’s new in Unreal Engine?

Unreal Engine’s new high-performance physics and destruction system

Revealed onstage at GDC this year during the “State of Unreal,” Chaos is Unreal Engine’s new high-performance physics and destruction system coming in beta to v4.23.

The real-time tech demo is set within the world of Robo Recall, a virtual reality first-person shooter game developed and published by Epic Games. With Chaos, users can achieve cinematic-quality visuals in real time in scenes with massive-scale levels of destruction, with unprecedented artist control over content creation.

  • Geometry Collections: It is a new type of asset in Unreal for short-lived objects. The Geometry assets can be built using one or more Static Meshes.
  • Fracturing: A Geometry Collection can be broken into pieces either individually, or by applying one pattern across multiple pieces using the Fracturing tools.
  • Clustering:  Every sub-fracture is an extra level added to the Geometry Collection. The Chaos system keeps track of the extra levels and stores the information in a Cluster, to be controlled by the artist.
  • Fields: It can be used to control simulation and other attributes of the Geometry Collection. Fields enable users to vary the mass, make something static, to make the corner more breakable than the middle, and others.

To read more about what's coming up, we'd recommend reading the Unreal Engine Documentation, the deep-dive article from Intel, or this article from Pakt.

Spotlight: Google Stadia Launch 

Google Stadia launched last month, here's everything you should know.

Google has launched its own game studio for Stadia-exclusive titles, Stadia Games and Entertainment. Jade Raymond, who joined Google as a Vice President and the Head of Stadia Games & Entertainment division back in March, is leading the drive for Google to make its own games. An industry veteran, Raymond has previously worked at industry powerhouses Sony, Electronic Arts, and Ubisoft. 

Google says more than 100 studios already have Stadia development kits, and more than 1,000 creatives and engineers are already working on titles that will work on the service. Today, Stadia is a $130 one-time purchase plus a $10-a-month subscription charge thereafter (after a three-month trial) – though this is expected to be removed sometime in 2020. Users will also need to pay between $20 to $60 per premium game.

It's early access to a service that lets you play a limited selection of 22 games, though more are coming next year, that you can mostly already buy everywhere else. 


Latency Tests Xbox One X Google Stadia Difference
Destiny 2 100ms (30fps) 144ms (60fps) +44ms
Mortal Kombat 11 78ms 122ms +44ms
Shadow of the Tomb Raider (60fps) 83ms 139ms +56ms
Shadow of the Tomb Raider (30fps) 167ms 217ms +50ms

Hang on, a second; Shadow of the Tomb Raider ran better at 60fps than 30fps?! Confused? Well, you're not the only one...

The general consensus since Stadia's launch is that although it's the best game streaming option around, it still falls short in almost every way that matters. Not considering the fact it's missing a variety of key features at launch, people are chastising the fact that Google has not fully seen through the project to delivery. The issue is that the service, in short, is not the future that gamers were promised.

Jade_Raymond"There are a lot of things that being cloud native enables that you're just not going to be able to see on other platforms, and I think that's the job of first-party, to really show that off and let people imagine what those things are. Whether it's creating more detailed simulations, more advanced AI behaviours, or MMO-like experiences that redefine "massively multiplayer."

– Jade Raymond | VP and Head of Stadia Games & Entertainment, Google Stadia


Other Stories From November



Halo Reach player count instantly exceeded 100,000 when it launched on Steam




Disney uses Epic's Unreal Engine to render real-time sets in The Mandalorian





The PlayStation 5's lightning-fast load times will make gaming "unrecognisable" says Naughty Dog boss





Microsoft Flight Simulator head says devs are “five years” from using an open source model of Earth