Streaming has been part of the video game industry for years now, but it has yet to take off in a big way. In a new interview with the Financial Times, Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot revealed his belief that will change over the next decade. Guillemot claims that the shift "will take time. But when it takes off, it will happen very quickly." Guillemot went on to state that this belief is the reason that Ubisoft agreed to a recent deal with Microsoft over Activision's streaming rights.
"We strongly believe in the next five to 10 years, many games will be streamed and will also be produced in the cloud," Guillemot told the Financial Times. "That's what pushed us to go forward with the [Microsoft] deal."
Ubisoft's Activision Streaming Rights
In August, Microsoft and Ubisoft announced a partnership agreement that would give the latter company streaming rights to all of Activision's new and current games, including the Call of Duty franchise. The agreement hinges on Microsoft's purchase of Activision receiving final approval. It's looking increasingly likely that will happen, and if it does, Ubisoft will have those streaming rights for 15 years.
In order to get the purchase of Activision Blizzard approved, Microsoft made a number of concessions, such as deals to make the Call of Duty franchise available on competing platforms, including PlayStation and Nintendo systems. While the UK's Competition and Markets Authority was pleased with Microsoft's moves regarding Call of Duty, the CMA still had concerns regarding cloud gaming. Microsoft's deal with Ubisoft was meant to assuage those concerns, and seems to have helped the deal clear some of its remaining hurdles.
Will Cloud Gaming Take Off?
While Yves Guillemot believes the cloud will be a big part of gaming's future, it's hard to say for sure. There are a lot of areas of the world that simply don't have the internet structure to support cloud gaming right now. However, Guillemot told the Financial Times that some emerging markets will find greater early success with cloud gaming.
"Countries that need to progress very quickly often jump to new technologies and skip old methods of the old systems," said Guillemot. "So we think that [these regions] will move more quickly to streaming and the cloud than others."
Xbox fans have already seen some of the potential benefits of cloud gaming. For one, it saves on storage space on the console or pc, allowing players to worry less about increasingly large download sizes. Cloud gaming has also allowed Xbox One users to play games that wouldn't otherwise be compatible with the system, including Microsoft Flight Simulator. Cloud gaming certainly seems to be something Microsoft and Ubisoft believe in, but it remains to be seen whether the rest of the world can be convinced.
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