Ubisoft bets on streaming to revolutionize video games

The French company behind the popular ‘Assassin’s Creed’ franchise believes that streaming will transform the video game industry just like Netflix did for TV and cinema. Ubisoft has recently partnered with Microsoft to offer its games on the cloud, hoping to reach new audiences and boost its revenues.

Cloud gaming, also known as gaming on demand, is a technology that allows players to stream games from remote servers without downloading or installing them on their devices. This means that players can access high-quality games on any screen, regardless of their hardware specifications or location.

Ubisoft’s CEO, Yves Guillemot, said that cloud gaming will open up new possibilities for game developers and players alike. He said that streaming will enable more immersive and interactive experiences, as well as more diversity and innovation in game genres and formats.

Ubisoft bets on streaming to revolutionize video games
Ubisoft bets on streaming to revolutionize video games

He also said that streaming will lower the barriers to entry for gaming, as players will not need to buy expensive consoles or PCs to enjoy the latest titles. He estimated that cloud gaming could potentially reach 3 billion players worldwide, compared to the current 1.5 billion.

Ubisoft’s deal with Microsoft

Ubisoft has recently announced a deal with Microsoft to integrate its subscription service, Ubisoft+, with Microsoft’s cloud gaming platform, Xbox Cloud Gaming. This means that Ubisoft+ subscribers will be able to stream over 100 Ubisoft games on their Xbox consoles, PCs, tablets, and phones.

The deal is expected to boost Ubisoft’s revenues and profits, as well as its customer loyalty and retention. Ubisoft+ costs $14.99 per month in the US and €14.99 per month in Europe, and offers access to Ubisoft’s latest releases, such as ‘Far Cry 6’ and ‘Riders Republic’, as well as its classic hits, such as ‘Prince of Persia’ and ‘Rayman’.

The deal is also seen as a strategic move by Microsoft to strengthen its position in the cloud gaming market, which is expected to grow rapidly in the coming years. Microsoft faces competition from other tech giants, such as Google, Amazon, and Apple, as well as from traditional game publishers, such as EA and Activision Blizzard.

The challenges of streaming

Despite the optimism of Ubisoft and Microsoft, streaming still faces some challenges and limitations that could hinder its adoption and growth. One of the main challenges is the quality and reliability of internet connections, which can affect the performance and latency of streamed games.

Another challenge is the cost and availability of cloud infrastructure, which requires massive investments and maintenance to support millions of concurrent users. Moreover, streaming also raises some legal and ethical issues, such as data privacy, content ownership, and digital rights management.

Finally, streaming also poses some threats to the existing business models and ecosystems of the video game industry. For instance, streaming could reduce the demand for physical copies and downloads of games, which could affect the revenues of retailers and distributors. Streaming could also alter the relationship between developers and publishers, as well as between publishers and platforms.

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