Bethesda’s Pete Hines on Streaming: Tremendous Potential, But It Won’t Be the End of Consoles or PC
Streaming games is already a reality through services like GeForce Now and Shadow, but the market is about to be entered by giants like Google (with Stadia, the cloud-only platform) and Microsoft (with Project xCloud, which will go hand-in-hand with the Xbox consoles) that are promising to open up triple-A gaming to literally billions of potential gamers.
In an interview with GamesIndustry at E3 2019, Bethesda's Senior VP of Global Marketing and Communications Pete Hines likened the anticipation to the early days of VR. He said there's some tremendous potential to cloud streaming, particularly as it opens up uncharted territories, but it won't be the end of consoles or PC.
It feels a lot like the early days of VR. There's tremendous potential there, but I also don't think that a year from now no-one is going to play games on console or PC anymore because they stream everything. It will be a growth of some amount, but the potential it has relative to everything else is one of a tremendous reduction of barriers to entry.
When you have folks who say: 'I'm never going to play Doom Eternal because I don't have a gaming PC and I'm not spending $400 for a console,' that's the end of the conversation. They're just not someone that I can reach out to for Doom Eternal. But if you know that on basically anything that has a screen you can suddenly stream a AAA, 60fps, 4K title, you're now a customer in a way that you simply hadn't been before. The number of people that applies to is hundreds of millions or billions. Now I'm not saying that everybody is going to convert to a $60 AAA consumer, but you're just opening yourself up to a lot more folks who don't have to jump through all the hoops of upgrading a PC all the time, or getting the new console, or paying for that big upfront cash outlay before the even buy a single game. I can jump in and watch someone streaming the game, click on a button and have a free trial, make a purchase, have a game that I can take wherever I go. That's a pretty big difference from anything else we've seen.
Bethesda is among Google Stadia's biggest early contributors with DOOM Eternal, DOOM 2016, Rage 2, The Elder Scrolls Online, and Wolfenstein: Youngblood. In fact, during its E3 2019 Showcase, Bethesda also announced Orion, a new technology built specifically to optimize both bandwidth and latency while streaming games. You can learn more about Orion and sign up for its early test stages on the official website.