Gaikai targets 100 million users by 2012

"We need to get above the reach of any single game entity in the industry"

Ambitious cloud gaming service Gaikai is targeting 100 million users by the end of 2012, according to CEO David Perry.

The company has passed the previous 10 million target through affiliates, with Perry likening the business to that of retail giant Amazon rather than any other company in the games space.

"We are targeting 100 million as quickly as we can possibly get there," he said, speaking in an exclusive interview published today. "We need to get above the reach of any single game entity in the industry a quickly as we can.

The ability to pull a lever and have a million people play your game… that will be really quite straight forward.

David Perry, Gaikai

Using affiliate websites - retailers, entertainment destinations - Gaikai can place games directly in front of established audiences, with Perry claiming it's easy to hit another one million users at the touch of a button.

"The ability to pull a lever and have a million people play your game is something that's crazy to even think about today. That's a very difficult problem, yet with cloud gaming that will be really quite straight forward. A normal way of thinking will be, 'I want another million and another million'.

"It turns out that the number one way to get people to buy is trying your product, and it's amazing that game trials are being made so difficult," he added.

Perry is also aware of the amount of responsibility that places on the company, having to build a infrastructure for partners to reach huge audiences reliably - and that's part of the reason the company has only so far been offering demo content rather than full game streaming like rival OnLive.

"We are a company doing this for other people. If this was just Gaikai and Gaikai has down time that's our problem. But if I'm doing it for Electronic Arts or someone else and it's down, then it's my problem big-time and everyone's going to be calling. If you just paid to play a game and you log in and it's not available for any reason you're going to get mad.

"We're at a point now where the conversions that we're seeing on the partner sites are way higher than expected so now we want to go to full games. The problem with that is I need to offer Amazon-level 'always up' service time."

The full interview with Perry, where he also discusses the complexity of building a dedicated Gaikai controller, modding and cloud gaming's 'dinosaur' moment, can be read here.

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Latest comments (9)

James Ingrams Writer 9 years ago
It ain't gonna happen.
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If they're only hanging around 10 million, even if another million were a button away; are 90 million 90 buttons away? Not to mention the amount of people who I'm sure would rather own their own copy of the game versus playing it through cloud gaming. Always good to have ambitions, but a year for another 90 million seems like a long shot.
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John Bye Lead Designer, Freejam9 years ago
Demos are one area where I could see cloud gaming working well and offering something to customers. Imagine if you could go to the PSN or Xbox Live store, see a game, click "play" and play through the first(say) half hour of it. If you like it, you can pay to download it or order a boxed copy, and carry on playing it streamed until your full copy downloads / arrives. Any progress you make during your demo is saved to the cloud, and if you want to you can pick up where you left off when you start playing your downloaded / boxed copy of the game.

No more 1Gb demo downloads, no more waiting around for stuff to download and install, just click and play. The only problem is that the streamed version inevitably isn't going to look quite as good or feel quite as responsive as the real thing.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by John Bye on 16th September 2011 2:17pm

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Show all comments (9)
C Fletcher9 years ago
@John Bye That would be nice but companies are in it for money. They would rather give you a 20-30 minute demo you've downloaded and play a small portion of the game. Just enough to get your attention. If you have the full release of Call of Duty Black Ops and play for 30-45 minutes with every section unlocked you would not pick up that title. The model you have suggested would work but the game would need to be "good".
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Chris Van Der Linden VP Integrations - Co-Founder, Kalydo9 years ago
why not have a look at :)
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Liam Stockley Studying Computer Science, Nottingham Trent University9 years ago
There are just too many outside variables that need to be just right for cloud gaming to really take off. Bandwidth issues are very real, making video streaming at HD resolutions an impossibilty.
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Byoung Han Programmer 9 years ago
streaming hd resolution is possible in s.korea.
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Nick Parker Consultant 9 years ago
I don't think Perry is under any illusions that streaming games will be viable as a profit making business in the near future. This is a long term business plan which will require a number of stars to align, one of which is bandwidth. Gaikai have gone for a sensible business to business model, flexible enough to be deployed within the browser for a number of consumer touch points, not just publishers. These numerous touch points could provide those millions of gamers. The nagging concern for any video streaming technology is the improvement in quality of browser based games to a point where premium fps titles are a real possibility. At least Gaikai are in the browser space and cutting their teeth on demos from which they'll learn a lot.
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Damien Mauric VP, Studios Business Development, SEGA Europe9 years ago
@ Liam : It is possible, and you should try it by yourself
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