One of the biggest challenges facing the gaming industry as it transitions from the physical to the digital world is the quality of broadband connections, an industry expert claimed on Wednesday.
″What we need is super-speed broadband,″ said Ian Livingstone, life president of video game publisher Eidos, speaking at Broadband World Forum in Amsterdam.
″You're kind of holding us back in many respects,″ he complained to the telecoms operators in the audience.
The gaming industry is currently worth $50 billion and is predicted to grow to $90 billion by 2015. ″The games industry is big... it's the largest entertainment industry in the world,″ said Livingstone.
″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.
And that means one thing: further demands placed on broadband networks worldwide as users increasingly play online games requiring reliable networks with low latency.
″We're still having to fight bandwidth to avoid latency,″ said Livingstone, adding that 40 milliseconds is the minimum requirement for a good gaming experience.
Each game typically generates 6 terrabytes of player data, while a game download comes in at around 9 gigabytes or more. Livingstone explained that each new iteration of the popular Call of Duty game takes longer to download, despite operators boosting network speeds, because ″the files are getting ever and ever bigger.″
Livingstone concluded by likening the ideal broadband network to London's Victorian sewer system that was built in the 1860s with six times more capacity than it needed at the time, thereby removing the requirement for an early upgrade.
″The message is: build bigger pipes and we'll try not to fill them,″ he said. ″ISPs, please do not rest on your laurels.″