EA: Cloud gaming is not the future

Written by Joe Martin

January 12, 2011 // 11:16 a.m.

Tags: #cloud-gaming #ea-cloud-gaming-is-not-the-future #electronic-arts #gaikai #onlive

Electronic Arts' CEO, John Riccitiello, has questioned the practicality of cloud-gaming platforms and outlined why he doesn't think they represent the future of industry.

Speaking to Industry Gamers, Riccitiello said that he thought that physical media was still very relevant.

'Do I believe longer term that the disc will go away? Not any time soon,' said Riccitello. 'I think the disc can actually be a great starting point for a digital business, like an MMO, World of Warcraft, for instance.'

Cloud gaming services such as OnLive, which run games in processing farms and then stream data back and forth through internet connections, aren't always a reliable or practical option for gaming, according to Riccitiello.

'We make services, we don't make products, and I think the challenge I would have in answering the question the way you framed it is I don't think people want a streaming game service. I think they want their games to work.'

'At times, that will be delivered best with streaming. At times, you should just download the game,' he explained.

'For example, I think it'd pretty silly for us to stream Scrabble to you. We're talking about three minutes, you've downloaded the words perfectly, you can play with your friends, the tiles move back and forth... why would you want to pay for bandwidth for us to redraw a Scrabble board 60 times a second? That's just sort of bad math, if nothing else.'

'Sometimes delivering a game by streaming is a really inefficient way to do it. I think the consumer, at least in my view, doesn't care what the technology is, what lives behind the veiled curtain; they just want it to work.'

'I don't think you'd bring OnLive to a LAN party for first person shooters, because latency matters a lot in those circumstances. So, I think there's different technologies for different purposes, and the consumer wants it to be largely invisible.'

Let us know your thoughts in the forums.

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