For a lot of Chinese gamers, playing the newest videogames is hard due to hardware limitation (outdated graphic card, little memories left .etc. ). Now CloudUnion claims that this won’t be a problem for Chinese gamers anymore: the cloud technology allows the latest games to become accessible for gamers who have below-requirement devices. All gamers need to do is to subscribe the service and then download a terminal from the website.
This sounds like a brilliant idea to get gamers to pay for the games they want to play, but here are two concerns about CloudUnion.
1.Where and how did CloudUnion get the resources?
Let’s take a look at CloudUnion’s content providers. Besides Ubisoft, the rest of the providers are Chinese organizations, so where and how did CloudUnion get foreign games which are not produced by Ubisoft? Was copyright involved in the service? How much does CloudUnion have to pay the providers in order to get the contents?
The questions above reveals opportunities and concerns following these opportunities: CloudUnion can reach out to foreign companies so that it can get its content legally, but the subscription rate will definitely go up. Besides, with so many popular M rated videogames on the market, if they are provided through CloudUnion, how would they pass the censoring processes conducted by the Ministry of Culture in China?
2.The seemingly strict requirement for DTR
Let’s assume that all the questions in the last bullet were solved. We can pay to play whatever games we want to and we are OK with the subscription rates. In other words, we are happy with the service, but will we also be happy with the experience we paid for? Given the Internet service provided in China, I’m afraid not.
Based on my understanding of CloudUnion’s technology, it transforms your interaction with the game into video in the server and plays it back to you. In other words, CloudUnion enables you to watch videos of yourself playing games online. If you are a frequent Youtube (or any other online video sites) visitor, you know that video with higher definition takes longer to load. Now try to think of what you are trying to do at CloudUnion as a process of playing and making a very high definition video online at the same time. I haven’t tried it in the States yet, but let me tell you. It will be a nightmare filled with freezes if I were to use it back home in China.
In China, most Internet users subscribed to service speed of 1Mb/s or 2Mb/s, which are far from fulfilling the DTR requirements for using CloudUnion.
If you are experiencing lagging and freezing while playing a game you installed on your device, you can always go to a store to get your graphic card or other hardware replaced/upgraded. For your internet speed however, is another story: due to the high cost of providing Internet and server building in China (approx. 3 times higher than it is in the States), getting high speed Internet service is very expensive, so expensive that the majority of users in China choose to only subscribe to the 1Mb/s or the 2Mb/s packages.
Wait, It gets worse. Not only we subscribed to the already poor packages, we are also not getting what we paid for. With the worse than expected Internet speed, how are we going to enjoy CloudUnion?
CloudUnion brought a very interesting and somewhat promising model for the gaming industry in China in regards of distribution. But It needs to be tied more into the actual situation and needs to make several huge adjustments to its service in order to function.