Tech Companies: HEY PAY US FOR CLOUD GAMING
Free Clippy! 📎 Do Not Read Until Monday.
And PSA: Don’t wait Until Monday to change your Facebook & Instagram passwords. I’ll tell you why later.
Tech Companies: Hey, Pay Us For Cloud Gaming
Well, they kinda bungled social media, so why not? Google this week announced its cloud-based gaming service, Stadia, getting the drop on potential competitors Snapchat and Apple. Oh and Microsoft and Amazon. And maybe Facebook and Walmart too.
One simply needs to look at the gaming industry’s current state to see why companies have shown a seemingly sudden interest: video games hauled in a hefty $43.8 billion in 2018, up 18 percent, and surpassing Global Box Office revenue. And, while console games can still rake in tons of cash – last year’s Spider-Man on PS4 sold 5 million+ – the future of gaming is platform-agnostic (or cross-platform at least) and less console-reliant. Case in point, much to-do has been made about EA’s Apex Legends garnering 50 million players in a month – impressive enough, then you see Fortnite has some 250 million.
Of course, there’s vast differences between these types of games, but you can currently play both disc-based romps* and streaming online melees on major consoles. And it’s not like people are like, destroying their PS4s**, but console makers have reserved expectations about future sales.
Also, it’s worth examining the appeal of the Nintendo Switch – a breakout hit. Both a relatively powerful home console and a versatile portable, its key strength lies in its utility. (Aaaand its deep bench for nostalgia gaming.)
The real future for gaming hardware could just be peripherals: for example, Stadia arrives alongside a Google controller. We expect a gaming service from Apple but also an AR headset. Facebook may push into cloud gaming, perfect for Oculus sales.
Not to mention Amazon’s Twitch, as well YouTube’s and Facebook’s efforts to erode it being synonymous with gaming live-streams.
Then, for the big question: Why the 🦆is a generally social-focused newsletter devoted such space to video games?
Because gaming is inherently social. Friends have gotten together to play since the days of Pong; now they can do so by a virtual avatar proxy. Live streamers garner millions of views (and dollars), plus tons of engagement.
And as social media continues to be difficult for advertisers to maneuver, gaming could be a logical area to press into.
*Yes, I just wanted to say “romp”.
**Leave that to their dads.
*Shakes Fist* AND ANOTHER THING (about streaming)
OK, so Apple’s streaming announcement (for TV-style programming) should be coming next week. There are plenty of rumors. A couple things seem more certain: 1. Well, apparently Netflix won’t have anything to do with this streaming service. 2. It probably confirms Apple’s shift away from hardware.
Apple’s launch also marks a new chapter of the streaming wars. Disney’s taking over of 21st Century Fox will also shake things up, with the potential of Fox properties such as The Simpsons and X-Men exclusive to Disney+. On the provider end of things, Comcast is also readying its own streaming package.
Netflix’s originals are already outpacing its third-party content additions, and streaming subscriptions outpaced cable in 2018. So 2019 could be anyone’s game.
Odds + The End
- For better or worse, you’ll soon be able to shop directly on Instagram. It’ll take a portion of sales, and allllll the personal data.
- Speaking of personal data, remember when I said to reset your Instagram and Facebook password? Here’s why.
- While U.S. companies prepare for battle over console-quality game streaming, TikTok and WeChat are readying mobile game ventures.
- MySpace losing millions of songs and videos this week was almost as bad as when it lost millions of users and its relevance over a decade ago.
- Speaking of blasts from the past, the iPad Air got a refresh this week, its first in over 4 years, alongside other iPad models. AirPods also got a V2.
- Twitter may be soon launching subscriptions. No, not that kind – subscribing to threads you’re interested in.
- MoviePass, pretty much the Fyre Festival of subscription services, may soon be back with a $10 monthly unlimited movie plan.
- A surer bet may be the Alamo Drafthouse alternative…
- A self-driving shuttle will soon be let loose in Brooklyn.
- Google’s wallet’s about $1.7 million lighter thanks to an EU antitrust ruling over its ad practices.
- A California congressman sued Twitter for allowing insults toward him.
- In completely unrelated news, Putin’s Russia cracked down on Internet “disrespect” toward government.
- YouTuber Logan Paul must be on a redemption quest – his Flat Earth documentary may actually be a compelling critique of YouTube itself.
- That Instagram meme thief you shouldn’t be following just got sued for – gasp – stealing memes.
- Speaking of Instagram, this week it’s free pass expired, and we’re real mad at the garbage-spewing accounts found there. And that’s not the only content problem they have.
- Want to buy some Pinterest Ads? Because they’re really hoping you do.
- Reddit is also making a good case to some advertisers.
- Clippy, probably the best thing Microsoft introduced us to outside of Minesweeper, rose from the dead this week, only to be summarily vanquished once more. RIP Clippy.
- March 22, 2019