Is it possible to ban games over “cloud”?
Playing games in the cloud is no different from playing on a computer, but in the case of “cloud” the computer is rented remotely and all data is transmitted over the Internet. Thus, the user buys games for an account on Steam or another service and runs them on a “foreign” powerful computer from any other PC. The main requirement for this scheme is sufficient Internet speed.
Roman Epishin, Cloud Marketing Director of MY.GAMES, told socialbites.ca that if the owner of the game decides to restrict access to Russian accounts on distribution sites, launching those accounts via the cloud will also fail.
“At the same time, neither an increase nor a decrease in the risks of losing access to games is due to cloud gaming itself. If distributors like Steam, Origin and others don’t have regional restrictions, they will run on a cloud service,” he explained.
As an example, the speaker showed how domestic users lost their EA Play Pro subscriptions, which included FIFA, Mass Effect and many other popular games. As a result, they cannot be played on cloud services.
He added that cloud gaming is still actively developing, so there are no definitive rules of the game yet. “The market is young, there are no clear rules and restrictions, it is necessary to negotiate with each publisher individually,” Epishin said.
The expert explained that for the game to appear on the cloud service, you need to obtain a license from the publisher of the game, but not for launch purposes. “The license is only required to use graphics such as screenshots and the name of the game. For example, to showcase the art in the game,” he explained.
Epishin explained that there are always legal ways to launch games on PCs, bypassing platforms and bans, and there are no leftovers. According to him, these methods could also work in cloud gaming services if customers want to use them.
We are talking about working in virtual computer mode – this function allows the user to access the Windows desktop. Also, the user launches any game through any platform: Steam, Epic Games Store, etc.
Cloud is better than console
Epishin is confident that users of console games may face more difficulties than players on computers with cloud services.
“PlayStation and Xbox depend on platforms for the digital distribution of games from the manufacturer. “Sony has already blocked the PlayStation Store platform, which has infuriated thousands of Russian gamers.”
According to him, there are many game distribution platforms on PC: Origin, Steam, Epic Games, Ubisoft Connect, etc., so it is more difficult for players to stay without a project.
“All these platforms need to be closed to Russia in order to deprive gamers of computer games. In addition, many more publishers and indie developers are working on PC games. Among them are those that are distributed directly, bypassing platforms such as Genshin Impact, for example,” he explained.
Cloud games have similar stability, especially since they work with PC games and the services provide the user with a virtual gaming PC.
March 29 PlayStation users drew attentionPlayStation Store partially started working in Russia.
Players on social networks and various portals said that they are returning the ability to purchase and pre-order games. However, payment can still only be made from the wallet account in the console. Activation of games for PS Plus subscribers is also back, but only possible through the library, not inside the digital store.
Will someone leave Russia?
According to Epishin, services franchised by Western companies can be heavily dependent on partners’ decisions. In Russia, this is GFN, which developed the native version of Nvidia’s GeForce Now service.
There are four main players in the cloud gaming market in Russia: SberPlay, MY.GAMES Cloud, GFN and Loudplay. All except GFN are Russian services. The expert believes that all companies with solutions from Russian developers will not go anywhere.
GFN declined to comment on socialbites.ca’s request. In the official community of the VKontakte service specifiedthat the service supports the Epic Games Store digital store, where games can be purchased using the Mir card for rubles.
Judging by the activity on GFN sites in social networks, the company does not plan to reduce its presence in Russia. Since March 16, the price of a subscription to the service has increased, which may indicate its intention to maintain its position in the Russian market.
The premium price for 30 days has increased from 999 rubles. up to 1499 rubles. The 180-day subscription cost increased to 7499 rubles. (was 4999 rubles). The annual premium is increased by 3.5 thousand – 13499 rubles. instead of 9999 rubles.
Roman Epishin believes that operating costs will not change significantly until Russian services begin to actively buy equipment at new prices, which will keep prices at the current level.
Prices and payment restrictions
A subscription with an unlimited number of sessions for 30 days now costs 1499 rubles from GFN and 799 rubles from Sberplay.
Such a subscription to MY.GAMES Cloud costs 999 rubles. For 30 days, but only 52 games from MY.GAMES. Access to all other games for a month will cost 1999 rubles, but not more than 60 hours. Loudplay has an hourly rate: 30 hours of gameplay will cost 999 rubles.
Like payments for other online services, payments for cloud gaming sites are subject to the terms of the user’s debit card.
If the debit card system works for paying for purchases within the country, it is also suitable for subscription payment.
“Cards of Russian banks (Mir, Visa, Mastercard and others) continue to work,” Epishin said.
He said other payment methods are also available. You can buy subscriptions using mobile payments on MTS, Beeline, Megafon, Tele2 and Yota. You can pay for tariffs through YuMoney, QIWI or SberPay services.