Dyack predicts 'end of the golden era of video games'

GDC Europe 2009: Silicon Knights' founder believes that cloud computing will "profoundly affect the games industry forever."


COLOGNE, Germany--Such services as OnLive and Gaikai have had their share of headlines recently. They promise to almost totally remove the need for local computer hardware, with video and audio processing happening on a computer in a remote location. Part of the greater IT trend known as cloud computing, it is a system that's not without its doubters thanks to concerns about latency, financial viability, and other concerns. However, Silicon Knights founder Denis Dyack is a huge believer in the concept and claims that in 20 years time, cloud computing will be dominant.

I wandered lonely as as... how does that go again?
I wandered lonely as as... how does that go again?

Controversially, Dyack completely dismissed the problem of lag--claiming that they're not even real issues at all. "If I were one of these companies, I'd be looking at putting hardware into every major city, which would completely eradicate any lag problems," he said. He believes in the concept so much, in fact, that he even went on to say, "2009 may be the end of the golden era of video games as the first cloud models for games are announced."

Cloud computing tends to be popular among developers, in part because it eliminates the traditional issues of piracy and second-hand game sales--two complaints that frequently come up among discussions on the state of PC gaming at GDC and other similar industry events. "When you stop a manufacturing run and you see more and more games picked up, you know you're not getting royalties--it's very frustrating," Dyack said. “Obviously, cloud computing eradicates these problems.”

For those concerned that Silicon Knights may be about to give up on traditional consoles though, fear not. "Silicon Knights will continue to do console games as long as they're profitable," he said. He also continued to refer to Too Human as a trilogy, suggesting that work is still underway on a sequel to the original game, which received lukewarm critical and commercial reception. "We may also do a remake of Cyber Empires," Dyack said, referring to an update of the first game the studio ever put out.

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