During E3 2018, the biggest games industry event of the year, video game publisher EA made a splash by announcing that it is working on its very own streaming service. The service, which isn’t ready for “prime time”, according to the publisher, was being demoed to press during the event. While we will have to wait until it becomes available to the public, initial reviews suggested that it at least functions as EA intends.
The big question, though, is whether or not this venture could be successful. Yes, gamers have made more of a move towards digital games, with more gamers downloading games, but would they be open to game streaming as well? EA is putting a lot of money and resources into making this happen, but not everyone is convinced that it could work out.
Are Other Studios Getting Involved in Live Streaming?
One thing EA will take confidence from is that other studios and companies have successfully transitioned into game live streaming already. For example, there are mobile casino games, including live casino games, which allow players to play classics such as blackjack and roulette while interacting with a live dealer. These games allow players to communicate with dealers as they enjoy and play these games on the go. The ease of accessing these live games could also suggest that gamers may be open to a console or PC-based system such as EA’s. Another example of live gaming fun on mobile devices is that live trivia show HQ Trivia. HQ Trivia games take place multiple times a day and players tune in to answer a range of questions, including general knowledge questions and themed rounds based on movies, music, or even set decades. A host reads out questions, offering up quips, puns and bad (but hilarious) jokes along the way. There’s also a prize as players could potentially win thousands of dollars just for getting the answers right! In the long run, EA may not need to provide incentives to players in the same way that HQ Trivia does, but it may encourage players to get involved in the first place.
How Other Companies Are Getting Involved Too
Of course, with live streaming being so popular and accessible, there is a danger that the ecosystem could become a little too saturated. In the weeks since EA made that announcement at E3, Microsoft has also announced its very own Project xCloud, which has been designed with the idea of getting console-quality games (including games released on the Xbox One) and PC-level titles working smoothly on mobile devices. The company plans to use its data centers to get these games out to mobiles. There is also Google, which wants to get people playing games within their Google Chrome browsers.
These projects are all ambitious, but, they do seem to represent the future of gaming. It may be a while until we see them all made available to the public, but many will be watching closely.