Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Has Activision Blizzard Partnered with Gaikai and is Bringing Call of Duty, World of Warcraft and Starcraft 2 to Cloud Gamers?


There are pretty strong hints that the largest games publisher Activision Blizzard has partnered with Gaikai and plans to bring their blockbuster games like the Call of Duty games, World of Warcraft and Starcraft 2 to cloud gamers via Gaikai. Namely, Gaikai is running private tests of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, Call of Duty: Black Ops, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, Prototype and maybe even more unknown on the Activision side of business. On the Blizzard side Gaikai is running private tests of World of Warcraft: Cataclysm, Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty and maybe even more unknown.



Here are the links to the Activision Blizzard games that Gaikai is testing, they are password protected:

- Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2
- Call of Duty: Black Ops
- Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3
- Prototype
- World of Warcraft: Cataclysm
- Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty

If someone wants to guess the passwords. Maybe a good start would be trying the birthday dates of Bobby Kotick and Mike Morhaime.

Gaikai running private tests of Activision Blizzard games doesn't mean that they have partnered with them, but it's a pretty strong indication that they test so many blockbuster franchises of them. Maybe they are only demonstrating these games for Activision Blizzard to show them that they are able to run them, but this at least means that Activision Blizzard is interested in cloud gaming over Gaikai. And as many can remember, Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick has often expressed his negative opinions towards game consoles, especially in money matters.

There are some long running speculations that Blizzard is bringing their games to consoles and even Blizzard themselves expressed their interest in bringing their games to consoles. Maybe this is the way that Blizzard intends to bring their full PC games experience to console gamers, by simply sidestepping the consoles and bringing their games directly to TVs via Gaikai.



Since Gaikai is a white-label service, which means any company that buys server resources from Gaikai can stick their name and logo on said white-label, it's understandable that Activision Blizzard might not only bring game demos to Gaikai, but start offering full cloud games on their web pages and other portals that the Gaikai cloud gaming network reaches like Facebook and YouTube.

The possible partnership of Gaikai and Activision Blizzard is a heavy hitter. If game publishers can simply implement cloud games on their web stores and web pages, and sell their games on other large portals that the Gaikai cloud gaming network reaches, why would such large games publishers bring their games to closed cloud gaming platforms like OnLive, which hasn't even reached a large enough market penetration to date. On the other side, Gaikai has an open ocean full of opportunities in the gaming world. Of course purchasing expensive game server resources from Gaikai can't come cheap, so it might take time before publishers launch full cloud games and not only demos over the Gaikai cloud gaming network. Though Activision Blizzard certainly has some money stashed away in some socks. When you mention the name Activision to gamers, the top word that comes to most gamers' minds is greed.



Looks like some pretty interesting partnerships are ahead for Gaizilla to grow their power. It would be a good idea for OnLive to already start beavering away on some spectacular in house game exclusives, when they aren't already. OnLive better be wrapping themselves in warm clothes as there might be some cool breeze headed their way, as spectacular tech alone can't be enough if your business model is to go head on against the big boys, while Gaizilla is providing the service for said big boys.

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