In a recent interview with Protocol, Take-Two Interactive’s CEO expressed his doubts that cloud gaming can change the video games industry.
Zelnick compares cloud gaming as the hype that VR gaming had in the last decade, he affirms that he “wasn’t very compelled” by how the technology was offered, he says: “Thankfully, as a result, we didn’t waste any money on it.”
Two of the largest tech companies have been heavily investing in cloud gaming, Google with Stadia, and Microsoft with Project xCloud. However, Zelnick thinks that both companies are making a mistake, especially Phil Spencer who has openly claimed that Xbox’s vision is beyond consoles, as Xbox wants to reach the 2.8 billion gamers around the world.
“There were some parties who were saying there are 130 [million] to 140 million current-gen consoles out there,” Zelnick said. “There are billions of PCs out there. You know, if you can make in a frictionless way console video games available to everyone who has a PC or a tablet or a phone, then your market size automatically would be 20x just mathematically.”
“Of course that doesn’t make any sense at all. Because the implication is you are super interested in video games but you were just unwilling to buy a console. I mean, I’m sure there were people like that, but if they are so interested that they want to pay $60 or $70 for a front-line title, it’s hard for me to believe they were unwilling to spend $250 on a console to be able to do it ever in their life.”
Zelnick also points at the fact that not those 2.8 billion players have the technology required for cloud gaming, “You may be out on the cloud, but if they’re on a phone line, they won’t be able to avail themselves of what you’re distributing”.
Microsoft has launched today Project xCloud for Xbox Game Pass Ultimate members, over 150 are now available to be streamed on Android, consoles, and PC.