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Featured Blog | This community-written post highlights the best of what the game industry has to offer. Read more like it on the Game Developer Blogs.

Each week I compile a gaming industry insights newsletter that I share with other Rioters, including Riot’s senior leadership. This edition is the public version that I publish broadly every week as well. Opinions are mine.

Kenneth Liu, Blogger

October 5, 2018

4 Min Read

Hi, my name is Kenny Liu, and I work in Revenue Strategy at Riot Games. Each week I compile a gaming industry insights newsletter that I share with other Rioters, including Riot’s senior leadership. This edition is the public version that I publish broadly every week as well. Opinions are mine.

See more or subscribe at: https://tinyletter.com/kliuless

Kliu's Corner: Project Stream

  • Google's game streaming service, Project Stream, makes Assassin’s Creed Odyssey playable in Chrome

  • Four main topics to consider: technology, developers, gamers, and competitors

  • Technology: Will it work?

    • Given that 25 Mbps is the minimum, for many developed urban areas bandwidth should not be an issue

      • Though a bit dated, Akamai's Q1 2017 State of the Internet Connectivity Report provides an interesting snapshot

    • The greater unknown is latency, a harder and more expensive problem to solve, but it only really affects real-time and especially real-time multiplayer games

  • Developers: Will they join Google?

    • First- and second-party console developers would not

    • Real-time multiplayer game developers may not, depending on the aforementioned latency issue

    • Additionally, whatever developers that do join Google's platform would also want to do it because they can achieve an incrementally positive financial outcome on top of their normal sales strategy

  • Gamers: Will they sign up?

    • ~75% of an average AAA game's sale is estimated to still come via physical goods

      • Related: 66% of console and 29% of PC players still prefer physical games over digital

    • Though existing core gamers may continue to choose ownership over subscription, streaming's greatest market potential may lie in the hands of gamers-to-be without the wherewithal to invest in high-end gaming hardware

    • How to successfully tap into this hidden market opportunity without cannibalizing existing game sales will be the key revenue optimization to solve (e.g., subscription access opens 1 year after launch) 

  • Competitors: What will they do?

    • If both the tech works and there exists compelling content, then gamers will adopt streaming

    • However, I do think Google is a bit more challenged to win this market than, for example, Nintendo or Sony, who already have great exclusive content at their fingertips

    • For all these above reasons, if game streaming takes off, East Asia could be the region that sees the earliest mass adoption due to its high population density (and subsequently great IT infrastructure) and strategic location in Nintendo and Sony's backyard

    • Hopefully, Google's Project Stream announcement will compel these and other play-makers to accelerate their streaming R&D as well


  • Blizzard co-founder, CEO and President Mike Morhaime steps down after 27 years

  • WSJ: Nintendo Plans New Version of Switch Next Year

  • With >90mm MAU, Microsoft explains why there won't be a 'Minecraft 2'

  • The future of GOG: mod support, Steam rivalry and problematic tweets

  • How EVE Online has evolved in the era of F2P


  • Carmack compares Oculus Quest hardware power to last-gen game consoles

  • Virtual reality found to reduce exercise pain, increase stamina


  • A Deep Dive into Tencent's Restructuring: The Struggle to Master B2B

  • Tencent employs facial recognition to detect minors in top-grossing mobile game ‘Honour of Kings.' Tencent’s stricter controls over underage gamers come amid Beijing’s call to protect children’s health, with the government blaming the country’s widespread myopia on the playing of video games

    • Related: App blurs video if you hold the smartphone too close to your face

  • Bytedance (Tik Tok, Musical.ly, Toutiao) is raising at $75bn valuation

  • Tencent invests $316mm (12.3%) in video sharing company Bilibili

  • Leaked screenshots of Tencent’s Call of Duty for smartphones


  • Consumers can now use Snapchat to shop on Amazon

    • Related: Why Snap will get acquired before 2020, probably by Amazon

  • Pew: Internet, social media use and device ownership in U.S. have plateaued after years of growth

  • Razer's $250 gaming router called Sila

  • Netflix Is Planning a Choose-Your-Own-Adventure ‘Black Mirror

  • Mega Man and Dance Dance Revolution are being adapted to film


  • Polygon: "There are too many video games. What now?"

    • Opinion: "It's time we stopped encouraging indies"

    • Opinion: Developers weigh in on "cold reality" check for indies

  • Myst at 25: How it changed gaming, created addicts, and made enemies

  • "My day at Coalchella, the music festival inside Minecraft"

  • The Big Hack: How China Used a Tiny Chip to Infiltrate U.S. Companies

    • Related: Statements From Amazon, Apple, Supermicro, and the Chinese Government

  • "Everything you need to know about Facebook’s data breach affecting 50M users"

  • Masayoshi Son, SoftBank, and the $100 Billion Blitz on Sand Hill Road

  • Walmart requires lettuce & spinach suppliers to contribute to blockchain database that can rapidly pinpoint contamination

See more or subscribe at: https://tinyletter.com/kliuless

Twitter: @kliuless
LinkedIn: @kliuless

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