Gaikai teases WOW on Facebook

[UPDATE]: Gaikai exec demos World of Warcraft running on Facebook at Cloud Gaming Europe; streaming game company issues statement saying that isn't happening.

Who was there: David Perry, chief executive of cloud gaming service Gaikai.

What was said: Traditionally, growth in the games industry hasn't been gradual--it has been a series of step changes, according to Perry. This is just as true now as it was when the Sinclair ZX moved up from a 1K device to a 16K device.

World of Warcraft could be playable on Facebook, says Perry.

The step from large storage capacities of Blu-rays, solid-state storage, and hard drives to unlimited cloud storage will be a similar jump, he said. The fact that technology already exists to give gamers almost-instant access to every game ever made is a significant opportunity no one has exploited yet.

Various other hurdles are also about to be jumped, Perry said. Speech cognition, situational understanding, and AI have all been held back by hardware limitations--but the massive increase in resources that comes with the cloud will put an end to all these limitations.

Used-game sales from the likes of GameStop are accelerating these changes, as they are encouraging publishers to look elsewhere for cheaper distribution options. However, he also held up GameStop as a "shining example" of a company that was investing in a smart way to survive the shift to digital.

The shift to digital platforms will be of massive benefit to gamers, according to Perry. "Free-to-play is pro-consumer" and not something gamers should be "hating on," he said. He went on to describe how traditional publishers could learn from social games by decreasing "friction" in allowing people to try to share games they're enjoying. While cost is one of the main sources of friction, Perry said, much of it is about just making it easier for gamers to play your games.

Making demos easier to access; lowering barriers to entry in terms of downloads, legal agreements, and registration overheads; and making the consumer's needs central to developers' thinking will be key. Apple's approach shows how reducing friction can benefit your sales, as it revolutionised mobile gaming simply by making it easier for gamers to play.

Although Steam "saved PC gaming," it is a terrible platform when it comes to friction, Perry said. He illustrated this argument by showing the full 43-step process required to get hold of a game demo via Steam, suggesting a process this long will lose the vast majority of consumers. He said that according to Gaikai's research, 73.5 percent of gamers would choose cloud delivery for games if it were an option.

Most of the money in the industry comes from hits and high-quality games, Perry said, and it's just a matter of bringing those games to the mass audience by making them as easy as possible to try to start playing.

This is something Gaikai is working hard on, said Perry, showing a quick demo of Gaikai's Facebook service that will let anyone stream games through Facebook and play titles such as World of Warcraft, Bulletstorm, and the like without ever actually leaving Facebook or downloading anything. The service will be launched in the near future.

Takeaway: Consoles are becoming obsolete, according to Perry--and the only thing stopping game companies from increasing their audience is how hard it is for people to start playing their games.

Quote: Of World of Warcraft: Cataclysm: "Its launch-month sales meant that if it was a Facebook app it would have debuted in 67th place."

[UPDATE]: Shortly after the publication of this report, a Gaikai representative provided GameSpot with a statement regarding Perry's presentation. According to the representative, "Gaikai is NOT bringing WoW to Facebook (at least not in the foreseeable future). David Perry forgot to preface the demo by saying it is purely a tech demo, to demonstrate how long the sign-up process for games can be and to show how Gaikai can make it so much faster and simpler for consumers." [Emphasis in original.]

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47 comments
GuilhermeHQ
GuilhermeHQ

No cloud gaming for me, what will I play if the Internet goes down?

Oldboy08
Oldboy08

So wait, I JUST HEARD ABOUT THIS SERVICE...when they said one console will quit the race last week...and now there are 2 stories about them? That's pretty "odd" how that worked out.......

nousername66
nousername66

Great, more WoW addicts who play 12 hours a day and think their online world is real.

kuda001
kuda001

I wouldn't take this Perry guy too seriously he is just plugging his service... poorly I might add.

Dragdar
Dragdar

no Digital only for me ! I like to actually own something, thank you very much. . this stuff is sinister, so what now? my PC merely becomes a terminal to access something far away? and someone can manage that connection as they please? sucks

FallenOneX
FallenOneX

@ parrot_of_adun I see your point, but playing a game, and trying to download a game to play is two different things.

parrot_of_adun
parrot_of_adun

By "43 steps", he means "43 individual mouse clicks". Apparently he has no idea just how often you need to click your mouse to play a game, or even operate a computer in the first place...

lusafis518
lusafis518

43 steps? maybe his computer keeps crashing and he has to keep booting and is counting all his steps that he does everyday to start his window 95 pc

masterdrat
masterdrat

@Eternal_Phoenix what?? people still use facebook!!

blakeney
blakeney

@X_Colbert_X Once downloaded you must double click the exe, thats +2... then you must check the agreement box and hit next +2... if he isnt counting every click as a step.... then he is making numbers up, if he is, then he is making a faily petty point!

Lothos_Delion
Lothos_Delion

As far as I am concerned he must have been picking those figures out of pepper. Bandwidth caps an limits will limit just how much cloud gaming can do. Call me old fashion but I actually like owning my games and buying and trading used ones.

vega13mv
vega13mv

there's games on facebook? i thought those were pop ups...

Richardthe3rd
Richardthe3rd

@s8man888 If you use that as a comparative model, I'm sure it would be a similar length process to create a Facebook account and set up a Farmville avatar. Using it as an actual critique of Steam and not cloud gaming is disingenuous and a bit of a double standard, to say the least. Show's you how biased and completely unreliable this guy is, and what a joke his observations are. Most of his audience isn't as stupid as he wants them to be.

Deihjan
Deihjan

I got this through Mists of Pandaria, and it's not MoP related. Explain this, Gamespot.

supertom221
supertom221

@Richardthe3rd Truer words have never been said before. Thank you, buddy. Screw Cloud gaming, took me long enough to get used to Steam, I rather actually OWN my games.

ender707
ender707

"Free-to-play is pro-consumer" Bullsh!t. Letting me buy the game on a disc that I can play, lend to a friend, put in the microwave, or sell back to gamestop is "Pro-Consumer". This guy is an idiot who is doing nothing but trying to sell cloud gaming for the sake of selling cloud gaming.

Spartan_418
Spartan_418

Cloud game streaming is a great idea, sure, and perhaps it works fine for certain types of games, but the latency issue will be a big hurdle for shooters and the like. I tried playing a few shooter demos on OnLive; they were playable, but just didn't quite feel right because of the lag that's present even on a very fast connection.

quebec946
quebec946

i hate when they force us to use facebook.

Yajarobi
Yajarobi

I think a point is missing? Gamer's don't sit and play facebook games, at least, thats been my expeirence with friends, however I think he means that if it was on facebook facebook players would play WoW

Link3301
Link3301

Oh God, Yes! For a second there I thought the community was gonna be more screwed than it already is.

servb0ts
servb0ts

WoW on facebook, even if it was free I still wouldn't play it. lol

Lhomity
Lhomity

Thanks for the update to this. Quote: That's just hilarious. Forgetful or not, they certainly got some attention in the process.

Kayweg
Kayweg

@Richardthe3rd Priceless, man ! I choked on my beverage when i got to "your mom's knitting buddies". Totally agree with you ofc.

Lhomity
Lhomity

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

Lhomity
Lhomity

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

Richardthe3rd
Richardthe3rd

43 steps? Maybe if open-heart surgery was required to open a Steam demo. And I'd like to see the studies that say 73.5% of gamers prefer cloud gaming. Cloud gaming as it exists now are Zynga type games. People who play those games, by and large, aren't gamers, unless you consider my 57 year old mother and her knitting buddies "gamers." Cloud gaming will have it's place, but until you can deliver a game like Skyrim over the cloud it's not going to replace the current model. People aren't ready to relinquish that sort of control to publishers and developers, though I can certainly see why they (and Perry) would want to spin that it's beneficial to players (read, over something like Steam it's not). And no, OnLive isn't a suitable example of this. OnLive is garbage.

Richardthe3rd
Richardthe3rd

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

Lhomity
Lhomity

@X_Colbert_X Yeah, 43 steps makes no sense. The other 39 Steps must include how he promotes his own company by badmouthing Steam. That, or he's a Hitchcock fan.

X_Colbert_X
X_Colbert_X

"Although Steam 'saved PC gaming', it is a terrible platform when it comes to friction. He illustrated this argument by showing the full 43-step process required to get hold of a game demo via Steam, suggesting a process this long will lose the vast majority of consumers." Open Steam>Demos>Select Game>Download Demo Now, as you can see above, there are 4 steps involved in downloading a demo from Steam. As you'll notice, 4 is not equal to 43--the number stated in Perry's statement. All of this brings us to one important question: How the **** did it take Perry 43-steps to download a game?

Blank2k2
Blank2k2

Cloud gaming is going to be a brilliant tool, It isn't going to touch the console market, personally I'm hoping they find a way to incorporate it into future consoles etc utilized as an addition to consoles/pc's it could be brilliant, be it for real life style tv commercials on billboards in game or just general content delivery to make games more realistic by supplying real time backdrops etc to games would be a good leap forward in making games look & feel more realistic while not costing the gamer valuable processor/graphical power that could of been used to make the game look & play better.

djwood84
djwood84

This is exactly what WoW needs: More casual players. Then you can justify making Care Bears a playable class.

USDevilDog
USDevilDog

@DitchyJ In an ideal world, you are correct. However, game publishing is like every media distribution industry. With that, distribution consolidation will happen -- the industry will give us fewer choices. In addition, be wary of OnLive and other cloud gaming options: it is essentially a DRM form of distribution.

DitchyJ
DitchyJ

I actually like cloud gaming, but does not mean I favour it over Hard copy games/pc's/consoles - still has a long way to go though. It has a huge amount of potential for those who choose to use it, but why does it mean we have to abandon consoles/pcs? Simple answer is - No, we do not have to...companies have their own view but at the end of the day it is the consumer who has a choice...you could use both. I like to play on Onlive/Xbox/Laptop when I can, and its because I want to...not because of statistics. If cloud gaming (hyperthetically) took over, the price of internet providers would mostly rise loads to compensate for the massive increase of users streaming their games. In a nutshell - I think it will add to the future of gaming, not what it will take away - Your choice :)

Lhomity
Lhomity

Seriously: "Consoles are becoming obsolete, according to Perry--and the only thing stopping games companies from increasing their audience is how hard it is for people to start playing their games." . The only idiots saying this are the ones who have a monetary interest in social and mobile gaming. Most hardcore gamers couldn't care less about either of those things. If the Wii didn't sell 75+ million, 360 at 65 million and PS3 not far behind, this guy's comments might have held a scrap of weight. --- "Quote: Of World of Warcraft: Cataclysm: "Its launch-month sales meant that if it was a Facebook app it would have debuted in 67th place."" How much of those apps are free to play/use or cost less than a few dollars? I rest my case.

Lhomity
Lhomity

Yo dawg I heard you like having no life so we put your wow in your facebook and now you can have no life while you have no life.

MikeLirette
MikeLirette

I don't want this game on that bs site.

jamyskis
jamyskis

"He said according to Gaikai's research, 73.5 percent of gamers would choose cloud delivery for games if it was an option." I call BS on this. Cloud delivery is available via OnLive for many AAA titles, yet I don't see anything near 73.5 percent of gamers in supported regions rushing for it. Trying to force a product on the customer is one thing. Lying outright is another kettle of fish entirely, and it's wholly despicable. If this is the ethical basis on which GaiKai operates, then I'm going to steer well clear of this company. How far you have fallen since the days of Shiny Entertainment and Earthworm Jim, Mr. Perry.

Nandutzu
Nandutzu

What's facebook? What's wow?

Gigaman222
Gigaman222

I think "perry" is trying to convince himself of these ideas rather than the gamming community. Consoles are not going to obsolete anytime soon. Really need to stop throwing hardcore gamers in the same group as facebook gamers.

Sefrix
Sefrix moderator

He actually tried to claim it's hard to play a demo on steam? How dumb does he think gamers are?

Netherscourge
Netherscourge

I can see myself playing WoW on Facebook all day long at work. -As long as it's the same exact WoW I already play and I can use my current characters without having to start from scratch.

parrot_of_adun
parrot_of_adun

"Streamlining" and "accessibility" (or any permutation thereof) have become words of warning, as far as I'm concerned, but neither repulses me quite like "Cloud Gaming".

warhawk-geeby
warhawk-geeby

Consoles are becoming obsolete..? If that's the case then I'm done with gaming! I don't want to have to rely on the internet to game :?

King-gamer
King-gamer

If it is F2P until 85, or whatever the next max level is, WoW's audience will surely take a massive increase, Microtransactions can be used to earn cash. I can see Blizzard charging people real money to buy Heirlooms.... That would probably make a lot of current WoW players mad though...