We’ve been following the emerging technology of cloud gaming for a few years now. Heck, we were even so enamored with the concept we pronounced the traditional video game console dead (probably more than once if I felt like searching the archives). Today we have a new titan entering the ring of this truly next-generation gaming technology: Big Fish Games.
Whaa? You mean the guys who make all those point-n-click and match-3 games? That’s right! Founder and CEO Paul Thelen announced the casual gaming giant’s first live foray into the Azure, Big Fish Unlimited, at Casual Connect 2012. Big Fish Unlimited will bring a device independent, instant on gaming experience to those that prefer their entertainment a little more seeky-findy than shooty-killy (although there still seems to be a whole lotta horror and murder involved).
For the uninitiated, cloud gaming services work for video games the way Netflix works for movies. There are no downloads or installs to worry about. The title in question is run on a remote server while the audio and video output is streamed back to you. Saved games are also kept on the servers, meaning you can pick up exactly where you left off no matter what device you’re using. Since your machine isn’t doing anything other than playing a glorified video stream, this allows even low powered devices to run high end software. GUO recorded a demo of a similar service using this technology to run high-end PC games on a five year old netbook.
Lest you think that a company specializing is casual gaming doesn’t have the chops for such a radical distribution method, bear in mind that Big Fish already has thousands of titles in ten languages across multiple platforms (IOS, Android, Mac, PC, PS3, Wii, Xbox 360, and even in-browser games). The puzzle powerhouse also just reported record revenue for a 9th consecutive year.
Big Fish Unlimited is now taking requests for invites. The only platform currently supported in this first stage of the rollout is a PC running Windows XP or newer. Smartphone, tablet, and even Roku apps are coming. The current subscription plan includes unlimited play of over 100 titles for $7.99 a month and is a separate change for the company’s current subscription plan. A free, ad supported plan is also available for access to 20 rotating titles