Is cloud the future of gaming? Industry experts weigh in

On Day 5 of TechSparks 2021, leaders from Jambox Games, Adda52, Gamezop, and Snowflake discussed the challenges and opportunities in the gaming world, and how data cloud could enable a better gaming experience in the future.
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Currently at $1.8 billion, the Indian gaming industry is set to reach $6-7 billion in value by 2025. Detailing out more statistics, a report by the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) in collaboration with OnePlus and RedSeer also stated that the pandemic has accelerated the organic growth of digital games as mobile app downloads grew by 50 percent and user engagement went up by 20 percent.

Today, video gaming engages around 2.8 billion people globally and this number is expected to cross 3 billion by 2023.

The sheer growth in all these numbers has led the gaming industry to rethink its technology. From hardware-based consoles to cloud gaming, there is a complete shift in technology. With the help of cloud, AI and other state-of-the-art technology, companies are enabling a personalised experience for users.

Diving deep into the topic, ‘Gaming reimagined: The power of data cloud’ at YourStory’s TechSparks 2021 were Vimal Venkatram, Country Manager, India, Snowflake; Vikas Gulati, Founder, Jambox Games; Darshan MS, Chief Architect, Adda52 (Gaussian Networks); and Prithvi HV, Technical Lead, Gamezop.

Cloud gaming trumps traditional gaming

“A lot of business outcomes are achieved for customers when they move to the data cloud,” said Vimal while sharing his insights into how cloud has been strengthening the customer experience at Snowflake. He added that cloud gaming enables “improving your subscribers' engagement and retention, increasing revenue from in-game purchases, accelerating advertising revenue, and much more.”

“The ability to understand data very deeply is very important… That’s why cloud and game analytics have become so important,” added Jambox’s Vikas, saying that “gaming was considered an art, but it’s actually more like a science”.

Talking about the diverse set of players at Adda52, Darshan said, “Cloud has enabled the kind of hyper customisation and personalisation that we would want to do for a player.” He mentioned that the kind of data and information they are serving to their users would have been “a great challenge without the support of the cloud ecosystem”.

Cloud gaming enables most players to play AAA titles at relatively cheaper rates, according to Gamezop’s Prithvi, as they can stream games on any machine and pay just for their usage, which would otherwise be cost-extensive because they would have to buy expensive networks, keep a check on updates, etc.

Breaking the barriers

Elaborating on issues that the industry face with respect to data security and privacy, Darshan said, “The tech-stack is matured now, there’s a clear demarcation of what’s acceptable, what’s not… we as a business are a lot more confident on what [data] can be leveraged, what has to be protected, what can be used to deliver a better experience to the end game user; and doing all this in an efficient manner without using very expensive enterprise solutions.”

The panellists further outlined many advantages of cloud gaming in making data safe, secure and easily accessible.

Speaking on how cloud gaming has created a level playing field, Vikas said, “Earlier bigger companies, players and providers were leveraging data to their own advantage; but now even smaller studios, publishers, publishing companies are able to acquire users, and use the same data that anybody has access to.”

What’s next?

Stressing on countering security risks and data protection, all panellists spoke about safety and security as a core function in their respective organisations, and not an afterthought.

The leaders also highlighted new trends and technology that are poised to take the industry to the next level. Talking about the barriers in building new games, Vikas said, “Cloud gaming will enable the rise of multiplayer, competitive and social gaming.”

“HTML5-based games will also be on the rise… it's portable, majorly focused on non-gamers becoming casual gamers,” said Prithvi.

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