News Roundup: Amazon’s AppStream & EA’s Titanfall exclusivity regret

The Netflix of gaming and the fall of a titan?


Amazon’s AppStream


AppStream news is at least 4 months old, but I just found out about it, so it’s news to me.  With PlayStation Now coming summer to some places, I felt like it’s relevant to talk about how Amazon will potentially dominate the streaming game services market in a few years.  This EVE Online character creator thing is a small example of one way it can be used.  This is different than Microsoft pretending that their servers are doing anything useful for Titanfall or can enhance their lousy graphics — it’s an actual service.

Perhaps I shouldn’t be surprised that the gaming/social media sites didn’t go crazy about the news of AppStream, because Amazon has a way of staying in the background.  Did you know that Mojang hosts all their Minecraft traffic (and I assume data) on Amazon servers?  There’s a small developer who handles enormous traffic thanks to Amazon, who gets a cut from it all.

This could become a major competitor to PS4 and Xbone (who presumably want to go all digital and always-connected by the end of this console cycle anyway), as well as Steam, iOS, Android, and Windows.  They all seem to be going for the same prize, which is to become the Netflix of gaming, able to jump to that holy grail called mobile platforms without compromising the other holy grail called graphics.  AppStream could also be used ad hoc for certain games, certain features of games, or services without being mentioned or promoted.  It could build and brew on the sidelines, until one day Rockstar puts a AAA title on mobile devices, being controlled with a Steam Controller, that you look at through VR goggles.


EA supposedly regrets making Titanfall exclusive to Microsoft


Microsoft paid EA to make Titanfall an exclusive, but now Sony has shown EA some numbers that prove it could have made way more money by including the PS4.  That seems like common sense, but the twist is that — apparently — EA actually regrets taking the exclusivity deal.  Then again, money is money, and PS4 has the bigger share.

This would have some pretty big implications, because it means EA and other publishers will probably get the message that the PS4 is the place to bring exclusives, or at least not a place to neglect.  Exclusives happens for quite a few reasons, but one of the most interesting is when publishers intend to go multi-platform but are given so much money that they feel it will offset the amount they would make otherwise.  When that clearly backfires, I don’t expect they’ll make the same mistake twice.

It may be jumping to conclusions, but I can’t help agreeing that Microsoft boasting that “hundreds of thousands” of people are playing Titanfall is an awkward sign of trouble too.  Anyone who knows spin language knows that you phrase things in the most positive way possible at all times, so… yeah.


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