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Ubisoft CEO Says Streaming Will Change Games Just Like Netflix Did With TV

Yves Guillemot anticipates a cloud gaming boom akin to the success of Netflix, but "it'll take time".

Image credit: Yves Guillemot

Yves Guillemot, the CEO of Ubisoft, has shared his positive outlook on the company's recent collaboration with Microsoft in the realm of cloud gaming. Recognizing that game streaming may take time to become widely embraced, Guillemot remains optimistic that it will ultimately revolutionize the gaming industry, much like how Netflix streaming transformed the TV.

During an interview with The Financial Times, Guillemot drew a parallel between the initial doubts surrounding Netflix's entry into streaming and the current state of game streaming. He expressed his belief that, while it may take time, the gaming industry will also experience a transformative shift.

"When Netflix first said it was going to go into streaming, their shares fell a lot and they were widely criticized. Today we see what they have become. It's going to be the same with video games but it will take time. But when it takes off, it will happen very quickly," stated Guillemot.

Image credit: Ubisoft, Assassin's Creed

Ubisoft's faith in the potential of the cloud gaming market has proven to be well-founded. The UK's Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) initially raised concerns about Microsoft's acquisition of Activision Blizzard, fearing that it could result in a cloud gaming monopoly for Microsoft just as the industry was gaining momentum. To proceed with the acquisition, Microsoft eventually made the decision to sell its cloud gaming rights for Activision Blizzard's titles to Ubisoft.

According to Guillemot, the acquisition of streaming rights and the recent release of the iPhone 15 indicate a promising phase of rapid growth for cloud gaming. As major players in the gaming industry increasingly focus on mobile platforms and explore the possibility of bringing console and PC games to mobile devices, securing the cloud gaming rights for Activision's portfolio positions Ubisoft for potentially remarkable success. This strategic move by Ubisoft has the potential to yield significant benefits in the evolving landscape of gaming.

"Countries that need to progress very quickly often jump to new technologies and skip old methods of the old systems," Guillemot pointed to the growing prevalence of mobile payments in Africa as an illustrative example. "So we think that [these regions] will move more quickly to streaming and the cloud than others."

Image credit: Ubisoft, The Division 2

Yves Guillemot's optimistic perspective on cloud gaming underscores Ubisoft's dedication to embracing this technology and recognizes its potential to revolutionize the industry. The enduring partnership with Microsoft stands as a significant milestone in this progressive direction.

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