Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Crytek is Working on CryEngine Cloud

Early this year Crytek announced that they are working on a social gaming platform named GFACE that will also include cloud gaming. It looks like the clouds are clearing up more and more on how cloud gaming will figure into GFACE.

Not long ago Crytek CEO Cevat Yerli reiterated for German that he thinks that pure cloud game streaming doesn't have a future because it's too expensive and has problems with picture quality and latency. He thinks that OnLive, Gaikai and other cloud gaming providers won't be able to sustain their business model, because the gaming world is moving towards a free-to-play gaming model and cloud streaming is simply to expensive for such a gaming model. He criticizes cloud streaming providers for targeting the hardcore gaming demographic that requires high-end hardware, high picture quality and low latency, all things that the cloud gaming providers currently have problems with. He advises the cloud gaming providers to rather target the casual gamer demographic. He said that he did like what Gaikai was doing with free cloud gaming demos, but his interest in them waned when they announced that they want to sell full cloud games. But he also said that if the picture quality and latency problems would be sorted out, Crytek would be willing to release Crysis 3 on cloud gaming platforms.

Now, Crytek has revealed how they want to tackle cloud gaming, and the tool that will accomplish this is called CryEngine Cloud. In an interview with VentureBeat, Crytek CEO Cevat Yerli, his brother and Crytek Co-Founder Avni Yerli, and Crytek General Manager for Games Nick Button-Brown, spoke about their plans on cloud gaming.

It's not like they spoke fully open about their plans, but they did let some tidbits out. Cloud gaming will be heavily involved with Crytek's social gaming platform GFACE. And the game title that will launch GFACE will be Crytek's CryEngine 3 powered high-end AAA free-to-play multiplayer shooter Warface, and Warface will be heavily integrated with GFACE and its tools.

Crytek will launch Warface in partnership with Trion Worlds. Trion is known for their hit MMO title Rift. They are also known for offloading some of the game computations from gamers' machines to their servers, which makes their MMO game worlds more dynamic and changeable. They also have some state of the art online gaming infrastructure and some very talented people. This is what caught Crytek's attention, as it looks like the way Crytek will do cloud gaming will be something between local computing and cloud computing, or a combination of local computing and OnLive-like cloud streaming, or even a mix of all these options.

The Crytek guys also slipped out the news, that apart form their work on improving the CryEngine 3, they are also working on a next generation CryEngine 4, that will again put gamers in awe and leave the upcoming Unreal Engine 4 in the dust.

In the interview the Crytek guys have said that the CryEngine Cloud platform will be very different from OnLive and Gaikai. They said that the CryEngine Cloud philosophy is, how do you offer the best visuals at the lowest friction barrier, with the most efficient cost? So low friction, low cost, highest quality to the user. It’s really about the user benefit. And the CryEngine Cloud platform is going to be tied into GFACE, their social hub.

Crytek has been also talking about cloud gaming with NVIDIA for years, as both parties are interested in it. NVIDIA recently came out with guns blazing on cloud gaming and revealed their Geforce GRID cloud gaming technology. The Crytek guys didn't want to reveal what and how and if they’re doing something with NVIDIA on cloud gaming, but from their responses it certainly looks as though they are working on something together.

Crytek is comparing their cloud platform to other platforms like Xbox or PlayStation, but it’s just not a hardware platform. They are envisioning a cloud platform, its interface is called GFACE. And Warface has CryEngine Cloud, that in total gives you a very simple experience and a high-quality content experience.

The Crytek guys did sound very enthusiastic about their CryEngine Cloud platform and that they really have something cool in the pipeline. From the sounds of it, we shouldn't wait to long to be let into the secret about Crytek's CryEngine Cloud plans and see the fruits of their labor come true.

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