Carmack: Cloud-based gaming is “inevitable”

Thursday, 26th 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.




  1. Bloodyghost

    He and others are right.

    Cloud Saving can really be helpful when Nature, Karma and other principles just stop you from saving in reality. Plus Cloud Saving saves Hard Drive space.

    #1 4 years ago
  2. Phoenixblight


    You do realize that he is not talking about Saving like PSN plus but services like ONlive and Galkai.

    Cloud saving is just a benefit if you are going from place to place and really they save you no amount of space on the hard drive. 100 MB is laughable at best.

    #2 4 years ago
  3. Bloodyghost

    @2, but its something lol

    Also I did but I couldnt really think about the pluses of Onlive and Galkai. You need a certain high Bandwith to run Galkai and both are so young that there isnt a clear cut picture. Hell I rather run Steam 1000 times over these Cloud Gaming Services.

    #3 4 years ago
  4. Phoenixblight


    Yeah I get you on that but it will become the future once bandwidth is more available. No need for hardware, no physical manufacturing, no worries about pirating because you will be accessing the game from the server also they can change the price model much like Onlive. It adds a lot of bonuses for the industry not so much for the consumer.

    this is all a long way to go though but you will see it more in the next gen consoles.

    #4 4 years ago
  5. Telepathic.Geometry

    To be fair, cloud saving could be a boon if your PS3 explodes or if you decide to get a new one and sell your old one. It’s not soo big a deal, but it’s nice…

    #5 4 years ago
  6. Phoenixblight


    I am not saying its a horrible feature its an added bonus to the PSN Plus. I plan on using it when I want to transfer saves to a new HD.

    #6 4 years ago
  7. Telepathic.Geometry

    As soon as this feature comes online again with PSN, I intend to use it and possibly get a new PS3. This one is starting to creak a bit… :o

    #7 4 years ago
  8. ultramega

    Well, I for one only bought PS+ once the cloud saving feature came out. Sony fulfilled my wishes with that, so they got my money in return. Trust me, it’s priceless when you’ve had two PS3s die on you, and have lost days worth of playtime in the process. [And sadly, as any PS3 owner should know, most saves can't be backed up to a USB drive anymore. I assume it's a precaution against people trying to manipulate trophy stats?].

    And I believe the given storage amount is 150MB, by the way. And though it may not seem like a lot of space, I have saves for around 30 games backed-up [again, if I remember correctly], and I still have plenty of room for more.

    #8 4 years ago
  9. mojo

    cloud my ass

    #9 4 years ago
  10. OlderGamer

    I am very interested to see what Gamefly does with its purchase of D2D. Also wondering what Gamestop will do with Impulse. I find it VERY interesting that console centric companies with biz models built around physical retail discs, are moving toward not only digital content, but content that at this point is PC.

    My guess is what I have been saying all along. The consoles of the future will likly stream games. And those games can be done on and offered on the PC. Much the way Netflix started doing. Instant view started on PC, and jumped to other devices. I bet we are seing the same thing now.

    Maybe by mid or late next gen, we will see something like Onlive, Gaika, Impulse, Steam, or D2D adopted in someway to work on a console.

    #10 4 years ago

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