This week Amazon finally joined the “Netflix-of-Gaming” club by introducing Luna, Amazon’s cloud gaming service. As a “game-believer”, I’m happy A more good player to try because every attempt leaves some legacy for the next iteration and more competition is good for users in general. As a strategy critic, allow me to share my 2 cents & wish Apple, Google & Microsoft luck.
YES! YES! there are also Console War & Mobile Gaming Platform War. But their end games are pretty much fixed. While a new round of Cloud Gaming War is just getting started at the Innovation Trigger stage. Where new players may even have a better chance to redefine the gameplay than the existing champions. It’s more fun to talk about that.
First Things First - Why
Most news focuses on the “technology-why” cloud gaming appealing. They are key reasons top cloud service providers are afraid of missing out. And the hope is users may come if you build it. But for gamers to really “buy it”, you better focus on the “user-why” properly first. For example, they all pitch to play games instantly across devices. Sounds great on the paper. But there is a thing called smartphones. Anyone who serially wants to get the money will need to build mobile apps, e.g. Fortnite — a multiplayer shooter game for mobile devices. For example: if I’ve enough time to play, I’ll want to enjoy AAA games. But if I just a fraction of time, I’ll kill time on mobile. So what is in these suboptimal crossing platform “convenient” for me?
To Play The Game, They Can’t Play On Other Platforms
Even the focus is the AAA game, the basic of business is the same. I will only subscribe if A) there are games I want to play & B) cheaper, in that order. Sometimes, “better” can sell too, but a bit hard for the steaming to compete for game consoles for now. Note, the change may come sooner rather than later. I bet PS5 might be the last generation console that’s still really relevant, but that’s open for debate later.
Just watch & learn from how Animal Crossing & etc. selling Nintendo Switch & its subscription. Thanks to xBox “legacy”, MS is a bit better with 100+ games for a start. A bigger number will help, but the “quality” may be more meaningful in the context of AAA. The big 3 are all trying hard to acquire/build their valuable catalogs. By all means, take your time & I’ll wait 😉.
Nintendo Financial Results: … Nintendo Switch 2020 is Animal Crossing.
The Holy Grail
The name of the game is exclusive, the next big hit or a few popular big hits. Licensing titles will be much quicker. But, the challenge is the conflict of interest between service providers(if also making games) and game studios. So, what if Nintendo is crazy enough to trade off its current economic moat to work with one of the big 3 for longer-term prosperity. I know it’s far-fetched. But others may not wait, e.g. Sony believes in streaming for the next generation & MS partnership will help them scale.
To know which one is playing the long game, their track records have some hint. But a better signal maybe what’s their organic growth investments, e.g. building original games. Just check Netflix’s payoff by transforming itself into an original content powerhouse. One more tip for free, if you are even crazier, why not building the next generation “game creation platform & ecosystem” maybe? e.g. a commercial-grade open source Game Engine/Server, please 🙏
The opinions stated here are my own, not those of my company. Furthermore, considering them are thought experiments because the reality is more complicated & has more factors to be considered.