Verizon is betting big on 5G, and thinks that the video game industry would do well to follow suit. The mobile network provider took to the E3 stage for its very first standalone showcase to highlight exactly what the "5G Gaming Revolution" means for the wider industry, and how developers ultimately benefit from 5G adoption.
While 5G is the larger star of Verizon's show, the game-dev-focused part of the presentation brings on chief product development officer Nicki Palmer to break down one particular piece of tech that Verizon believes will benefit game developers: MEC, or Mobile Edge Compute.
In Palmer's words: "It's a technology that's having a huge impact on [EA and Riot Games]. MEC involves putting compute power that would've otherwise been in the cloud or on the device itself into the edge of the network where those capabilities are most needed for low-latency performance."
Verizon launched MEC last year through a partnership with Amazon last year, and has announced partnerships with other tech companies to deploy the tech in the year since. On the game developer side, Palmer argues that MEC allows game developers to deliver more immersive experiences on mobile by cutting down on the network or performance issues that have previously held more ambitious mobile games back in the past.
"Developers can now focus on making the best games. They can rewrite the rules for creating eye-popping graphics rich multiplayer action without worrying about hardware or network limitations," says Palmer.
As part of that technology push, Verizon also lightly announced a partnership with EA to leverage 5G tech and labs for EA Sports Madden NFL Mobile that aim to, according to a press release, create more dynamic player experiences and more optimized gameplay.
The Verizon block also included the announcement of a new scholarship fund from Verizon that aims to support women at historically Black colleges and universities interested in joining the game industry and the wider world of STEM careers.
The scholarship itself is an extension of Verizon's existing Future fund, and accompanies an extension of the Verizon VCT Game Changers that, through a partnership with Riot Games, will provide mentorship and training to women interested in becoming esports casters.
Interestingly, the Verizon Game Forward Scholarship doesn't stop at simply providing financial aid to its participants. On top of monetary support, Verizon announced the program will also land students internships at Verizon and its partner companies, which a press release notes include top tech and game dev studios. 25 women will ultimately benefit from the scholarship across Delaware State University, Dillard University, Howard University, Morgan State University, and Texas Southern University.