Almost every time a new piece of technology hits the market, it sparks debate. This may be the norm, but the tone of the debate can vary widely.
The latest chat from the gaming industry centres around some big players releasing new tech with Apple Arcade set to drop in Autumn of 2019 and Google Stadia also announced for around the same time.
These new gaming services have people wondering what effect they will have on the current online markets as we know them. There is also concern from Sony and Microsoft about what impact the release of Stadia, in particular, will have on their PlayStation Now and Microsoft’s Project xCloud from a business point of view.
Let’s explore these questions and have a look at what online gamers can expect to see over the coming 12 months with two huge players adding their weight to an already crowded marketplace.
What are Apple and Google offering?
Apple is set to launch a subscription video game service available on iOS, macOS and tvOS, which will allow gamers to stream games and save their progress using the iCloud service. The subscription will grant players access to a large library of video games, and developers are cautiously optimistic about what it will offer.
Google are heading down a similar route with Stadia in that it will allow players access to video games online via a super-speed streaming service using the Google Chrome web browser. However, one thing that sets Google Stadia apart is that it is expected to use central Google servers to process the graphics, thus making the games accessible to different, older systems.
The effect on the market
The truth is that it is always hard to say what impact new competition will have on the established status quo, but gamers are unlikely to stop using other services if they are already vested in them. Fans of Sony are expected to carry on using PlayStation Now in order to access the exclusive titles on offer, as will fans of Microsoft for the same reason.
Having to pay a subscription will not always appeal to everyone either so don’t expect to see a mass exodus from other services just because Apple or Google have entered the market. Fans of online casino gaming may also try the new offerings, NetEnt games being a source of completely unique games and features such as cash bonuses on sign-up, free spins for newbies and the ability to earn money on initial deposits, which Apple and Google are not likely to affect. Neither is it clear whether this type of game or real-money game will be available on the new platforms either.
The examples are clear
League of Legends has long been a market leader and is still making money even with the increased number of rivals in the market, while DOTA 2 made an impressive $406 million in 2017, showing that the classics are hardly under threat from any new services, even if they may have to adapt.
Also, it would be presumptive to assume that both Apple Arcade and Google Stadia will be immediate success stories – with Riot Games, makers of League of Legends, experiencing teething problems in terms of revenue when they tried to break into the esports market.
Time will tell but no one should be panicking about these two giants jumping into online gaming as there is still plenty of space for everyone. The real winners will be gamers, who can sit back and enjoy the huge choice at their fingertips.