Ian Livingstone to Broadband Providers: You’re Holding the Games Industry Back

Speaking at the Broadband World Forum in Amsterdam on Wednesday, Eidos Life President Ian Livingstone said that broadband bottlenecks around the world are slowing down the game industry's transition from the physical to the digital world, and urged telecommunications companies to build more broadband infrastructure.

"What we need is super-speed broadband,″ said Livingstone. "You're kind of holding us back in many respects."

With the worldwide games industry estimated to be worth $50 billion and expected to grow to $90 billion by 2015, telecommunication companies should see the benefit of working with the industry to satisfy customers and promote the future of commerce online.

"The games industry is big… it's the largest entertainment industry in the world,″ Livingstone continued. ″Games are now moving from a product to a service,″ he explained, "with revenues from network sales expected to surpass those from packaged, physical goods next year."

"We're still having to fight bandwidth to avoid latency,″ he said, noting that 40 milliseconds is the minimum requirement for a decent online gaming experience and adding that games take longer to download despite speed increases in broadband because "the files are getting ever and ever bigger.″

Livingstone concluded by comparing broadband networks to London's Victorian sewer system that was built in the 1860s. When that system was built it had six times more capacity than it needed at the time.

″The message is: build bigger pipes and we'll try not to fill them,″ he said. "ISPs, please do not rest on your laurels.″

Source: Total Telecom

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  1. 0
    hellfire7885 says:

    Be that as it may, gaming is increasingly online, and services like Steam can suffer in the long term.

    You need to look at this from more than one angle and from more perspectives than your own.

  2. 0
    Neeneko says:

    Hard core gamers tend to forget that they make up a tiny fraction of the market and do not matter nearly as much as they think they do.

    'Dumbing down' and 'hand holding' appeal to a larger audience, and at the end of the day, game companies want to sell games,.. appeasing the elite hobbyists is not top of the list.

  3. 0
    Technogeek says:

    There are people in the US who still have no telephone service for crying out loud and the government is opting to give them broadband in lieu of telephone service.

    Long term, that would probably be a better approach. You can provide a VoIP setup without much additional difficulty if someone has broadband in place; and it's becoming increasingly important to have some form of Internet connection available, whether to keep in touch with friends and family or to apply for a job.

  4. 0
    ZippyDSMlee says:

    The trouble is not every game is an MMO or online heavy, console hardware alone holds them back.

    We do not need streaming gaming that badly and its not really feasible right now maybe by 2020 after the metered rate bandwidth craze ends. I mean look at Daiblo 3 with the power of one of the top MMO devs behind it and its a laughing stock.

  5. 0
    Mrxknown_JG says:

    The issue beinig discussed is the lack of the broadband infrastructure to handle the load.

    Sure, there are lots of other issues from gender inequality, games that don't offer challenges, faulty hardware at release, console operating system's that feature ads, console operating system's that further decrease the importance of gaming over other multimedia options, etc.

    But the broadband companies and governments never built the systems for growth. There are people in the US who still have no telephone service for crying out loud and the government is opting to give them broadband in lieu of telephone service.

    The infrastructure needs to be addressed and private companies & governments are not focusing on that.

    Money is tight all around and private companies are not expanding service nor is the government opting to do the work themselves.

  6. 0
    ZippyDSMlee says:

    Not really, over all minimal effort in quality, dumbing down and hand holding is the core of the issue. Console hardware is as much of an issue as bandwidth caps tho, as caps are still haphazardly  dealt with.

  7. 0
    narcogen says:

    Network sales are not a service. They are network sales.

    Broadband speed limits and caps don't seem to be stemming the tide of movie torrent downloads, most of which are as big or bigger than game downloads.

    Game industry size has been driven by growth of the base, but also by casual gaming as well as price increases. Faster broadband doesn't help either.

    What he's saying is that people who don't game can't really be expected to pay much, and if the industry wants to move prices from $60 to $80 or $100 and beyond, the production values they need to hit at those prices are going to drive download sizes up as well, so get ready for it.

    For my part, games look and sound about as good now as they need to, and my own slow, backwards, 2nd world download speeds don't seem to be hurting my gaming experience. (Latency is another question entirely.) The industry needs to stop thinking in terms of better technology and more pixels to define "better".

  8. 0
    ZippyDSMlee says:

    Its not the net its console hardware and making generic crap and hope it sells to larger demographics…. mostly making crap is what is keeping the industry down…

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