Top Cloud Gaming Solutions For Small Developers
Last month, we posted an article dealing with the question of whether or not indie game publishers would someday rival their AAA-developer counterparts. If you have had a chance to read it, chances are that by now you realize just how powerful the indie-gaming industry is, as well as the sheer potential it holds.
The one real obstacle standing in the way of indie-gaming publishers’ realization of this potential is resources. Putting aside the millions of dollars and tons of manpower AAA-developers enjoy just to create the game, the resources available for cloud play and distribution are greater than those available for indie publishers by an order of magnitude.
That is how it has been so far. Will this trend continue?
We now have multiple companies whose sole purpose is to provide powerful and comprehensive platforms on which small developers can release their games upon. These companies provide the back end to those who do not have the resources to develop them on their own. The result is the solution to development and delivery problems experienced by so many aspiring small developers.
Which Companies Rule?
It is true that cloud gaming is still in its relative infancy. When Onlive went bust in 2012, the industry was shaken to its core, wondering if the future of cloud gaming was gone for good. Thankfully, enough big names in technology realized that one setback does not necessarily kill any chance of an industry taking hold. Many of these companies have recognized that indie publishers are one of the keys to growing this industry. Here are some of the latest developments to hit the scene.
AWS: Also the subject of one of our previous articles, Amazon’s AWS recently announced that it would make its services available to small developers. The most important of these services is AppStream, which streams content directly to end users, without having to download large files.
CiiNOW: CiiNOW’s purchase last year of Plug In Digital shows that they are dedicated to allowing indie developers to showcase their offerings in the same way larger companies do.
Microsoft: Touted as the next big battleground between Sony and itself, indie developers are receiving tons of attention by Microsoft lately. Windows Azure, in combination with Microsoft’s Visual Studio Online toolset, is identified to be one of the best ways for an indie publisher to develop and showcase their own games.
AppWarp: While AppWarp is by no means a new solution, its most recent release includes one of the Holy Grails of cloud computing: on-the-fly region switching. This allows for the server to automatically switch depending on the location of the player. This effectively reduces latency issues by an order of magnitude, further leveling the playing field between indies and AAA houses.
No greater time has existed to be a small video-game developer than right now. Do you enjoy playing indie games? Would you want to see more of them released in a cloud-gaming capacity? Let us know your thoughts in the Comments section below!
By Joe Pellicone
(Image Source: Shutterstock)