Lately, someone who doesn't have much knowledge of gaming business, asked me: "What is cloud gaming?". I addressed him directly to the Wikipedia definition which says: "Cloud gaming, also called gaming on demand, is a type of online gaming that allows direct and on-demand streaming of games onto a computer, similar to video on demand, through the use of a thin client, in which the actual game is stored on the operator's or game company's server and is streamed directly to computers accessing the server through the client." At the moment cloud gaming networks allow gamers access the games streamed online (to various devices), and have fun without installations, and other inconvenient actions. This kind of service don't require space on hard drive, or uses less power of gamer's PC. Simple as that? Yes, just check couple example networks to ensure how it really works. We have: Gaikai, Square Enix or OnLive - they require internet connection, a special app download, and setting up a device you will use for fun. But, since the question was asked to me, and I actually deal only with mobile HTML5 gaming, let's find out, what...
... does it really have to do with HTML5 games?
Basically cloud based gaming may be a natural definition of cross-platform capabilities of HTML5 games. In almost the same way they may be distributed through cloud gaming services. Why? Because, " The streaming game service allows consumers to play games across a variety of devices, similar to the way Netflix enables consumers to watch movies across their phones, tablets, computers or TVs." (excerpt from allthings.com article). The only difference is that the HTML5 gaming actually runs through a browser.
Would that work, and be popular?
With the higher popularity of streaming gaming, HTML5 games and their capabilities to work in a cross-platform environments may become another type of games attractive for cloud gaming portals. I found couple examples that prove that this trend actually may become real, and hopefully may grow in the nearest future:
- Big Fish Games plans to acquire HTML5 games for their universal cloud platform.
- EA announced a multiplayer game written in HTML5 to allow a browser gameplay.
Obviously, we see that web based gaming may be a very natural way for HTML5 to become more popular not only within mobile web gaming publishers, but also within cloud gaming networks run by big companies. Similarly to (PC/console) cloud games, there is practically no limit of devices on which gamers can launch cloud games based on HTML5: Smart TV's, PC's, smartphones, tablet's or some consoles (like PS Vista). The only question that remains is: when would that happen in a larger scale?