Carmack: Cloud-based gaming is “inevitable”

Thursday, 26 May 2011 01:52 GMT By Brenna Hillier

John Carmack, one of id Software’s founding fathers, has predicted cloud gaming will have the biggest impact on the games industry in the immediate future.

“I think cloud gaming will eventually be a significant part of the landscape,” Carmack told IndustryGamers.

“Consumers have shown over and over again that convenience can often more than offset some quality issues, and there will be significant convenience wins possible there over optical media or digital downloads.”

Carmack said he felt the change was “inevitable”, although he didn’t want to guess at adoption rate.

Otherwise, the engineer said “all the obvious trends” would continue.

“Another console generation, big MMOs on PCs, more movement towards digital distribution, smartphones encroaching on dedicated gaming territory, and so on,” he said.

” Blockbuster games will continue to increase in development cost, but gaming should continue to have a much more vibrant ‘low end’ than, say, the movie industry.”

Looking back over his career, Carmack said the industry had changed at a startling and exciting rate.

“The challenges available in game development have grown at least as fast as my knowledge, and I have never reached a point where I felt that there weren’t interesting and exciting things to learn and work on,” he commented.

“If anything, I almost feel overwhelmed with the available directions to focus on … Twenty years ago you could look at a platform and consider it as something that could be grasped nearly in its entirety.

“Today, your cell phone’s total complexity is beyond anyone’s capacity to completely comprehend, to say nothing of your personal computer and the internet it connects to.”

id’s next game, RAGE, is the first to run on Carmack’s new engine – idTech 5. It’s due on PC, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 in September. The studio also has Doom 4 in the works.