PlayCast launches cloud gaming service in UK

New cloud gaming service set to launch in UK via BT and Virgin Media
New cloud gaming service set to launch in UK via BT and Virgin Media

The folks behind PlayCast, the cloud-gaming service, have announced that the online videogames platform is coming to the UK.

Cloud gaming has been one of those buzz-terms in the games industry this year, ever since OnLive launched to much acclaim at the Games Developer's Conference in San Francisco back in March.

Israeli company PlayCast is also a major player in the emerging cloud gaming industry, bringing its pay TV model to the UK games industry this month.

PlayCast has claimed its service will offer publishers long-term revenue opportunities and new ways to make money from their back catalogues.

TV gaming via set-top box

The service is planned to be launched via on-demand TV providers such as BT and Virgin Media.

Critics have pointed towards problems with delays and so-called latency issues. But PlayCast's UK MD Russell Barash denies this.

"The reaction has been very, very positive from publishers," the PlayCast man told MCV. "To them, it's a new way to market back catalogue.

"If you're a movie studio, you have your film play in the cinemas, then three months later it's out on DVD. Three months later again it's on Sky Box Office, then on Sky Movies, then two years later it's out on terrestrial. There are six or seven different windows to monetise your product.

"But if you're an EA or an Activision, you are restricted by one burst of seven or eight weeks when you release a new game in GAME or HMV before it falls off the cliff. You've spent millions of dollars on it, but only one real opportunity to make money back.

"We allow publishers to keep that retail window, but after a few months they can put it on PlayCast a la carte…We're essentially bringing the pay TV model to games."


Adam Hartley