Cloud Gaming Lights Up “On-Demand” Radar

A new social gaming platform by Activision-Blizzard, called Activate, will include cloud storage and a bunch of other interactive features attached to upcoming games including Skylanders: Lost Islands and Skylanders: Battlegrounds.

“Some of the features available to developers with the Activate platform are friends lists, leader boards, achievements, invites, and cloud storage to allow players to access their saved games on multiple devices,” said Social  News Daily.

“Players will be able to log in from their Facebook accounts, and an Activate account will be required to utilize the online modes in all supported games.”

Cloud gaming is seen as one of the biggest potential growth sectors within cloud computing generally, but opinions differ on its ultimate success.

“In our frictionless world, users show less patience in accessing games. Wait for downloads and installations to complete before getting in the game is a barrier,” said Gamasutra, a gaming blog.

“Until recently, the technologies haven’t existed to tackle the problem of instant access head-on. With the cloud, games are physically run in a remote server center and then beamed via video stream to game players through broadband.”

The blog pointed out a similar revenue model to that taking place within the feature phone arena: a third for the games publisher (who brings the game and the IP), a third for the technology provider (who pays for the technology and the servers) and a third for the carrier who pays for the marketing, the billing and the bandwidth).

“The –not to be discarded- fixed cost of porting the games comes on top and may be bore by any of the partners,” said Gamasutra.

Close-to-death cloud gaming companies like OnLive, have been resurrected in recent months, demonstrating the popularity of on-demand titles that play on TV, PC, Mac, or tablet.

Other huge companies like Verizon, Warner and Comcast all see major opportunities in the cloud gaming environment and may make major announcements about future involvement in coming months.

Meanwhile, after teaming up with Microsoft and leveraging Windows Azure for cloud gaming, Agawi is launching the AGP Gold Program.

“With over 700M Windows 7 licenses sold, the Windows 8 launch on October 26 promises game developers a distribution opportunity not seen since the launch of iOS in 2008,” said Agawi.

Agawi is actively seeking partners and asking these two questions:

  • Are you a web-based mid-core MMO or social games developer?
  • Do you believe your games stand out but need a powerful channel to effectively showcase them in front of massive gaming audiences?

Interested parties can sign up here.  Also check out this recent Virtual Internet blog post on Sony’s involvement in cloud gaming.

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