Streaming has played a big role in how we consume entertainment media for a good while now. With services like Netflix and Spotify, consumers can easily take in content with a button press. However, we’re not yet seeing this big move for video games. We might be a ways off from a seamless experience like how Netflix provides films and television series. However, Ubisoft’s CEO, Yves Guillemot, is finding that streaming will become far more mainstream sooner than you might have expected.
Recently, the CEO of Ubisoft spoke with the Financial Times, which we’re finding thanks to Tech4Gamers, where Yves spoke highly of streaming. Yves compares this movement to Netflix and how streaming has taken off because of this service. According to Yves, we can expect the very same with video games. While the CEO says that it will take time, once the movement starts to happen, it will happen quickly. In fact, it’s countries that need to progress which will likely see streaming become mainstream first. Looking at regions such as Africa, the adoption of mobile payments being a quick transition is what we might see with streaming from the cloud.
Of course, the CEO is also betting on streaming because they are acquiring the streaming rights to Activision Blizzard. If you don’t recall, Microsoft has been gunning for the purchase of Activision Blizzard for some time now. While navigating through regulators and getting approvals, there was one particular group that wasn’t keen on Microsoft’s merger. That is the UK regulator, the CMA. Initially turning the deal down, the CMA is once again listening to Microsoft on how they can alleviate their concerns.
The CMA’s reasoning behind striking down the deal was the fact that Microsoft was viewed as too much of a dominant threat for cloud gaming. That is when Microsoft offered to provide Ubisoft to deal with streaming games from Activision Blizzard’s catalog. We don’t know the finer details regarding what Ubisoft had to pay to ensure they have the streaming capabilities, but this move was enough to give Microsoft the approval. We’re just waiting for that to come out from the CMA officially.
Of course, the big question will be just how fast of a transition we’ll see companies make to streaming video games. We’re certainly seeing a push with digital right now with the likes of digital-only variant consoles from both Microsoft and Sony. However, the next big step could be providing a solid infrastructure to ensure players can easily stream their favorite games rather than downloading them.