After Google with Project Stream and Microsoft with Project xCloud, it’s now EA’s turn to announce its cloud game service called Project Atlas. EA’s Chief Technology Officer Ken Moss dubbed Project Atlas as an “engine + services” game development platform. Essentially a way to harness cloud computing, AI, and putting it into the hands of game makers. EA claims Project Atlas is important enough to dedicate over 1,000 employees to it and dozens of studios the world over contributing to it too.
And while Moss post rambles on, the basic premise of Project Atlas is that the game will, as most other cloud-based services, reside on EA’s servers. EA and always-online play have never gelled well. More so after the debacle that was Sim City. Nonetheless, Moss goes on to wax eloquent on its possibilities.
Moss says, “When we talk about cloud gaming, we’re referring to a game that resides on an EA server rather than on the gamer’s PC or mobile device. The gamer enters the game by installing a thin client that can access EA’s servers where the games are running.”
“We’ve been developing software that utilizes the cloud to remotely process and stream blockbuster, multiplayer HD games with the lowest possible latency, and also to unlock even more possibilities for dynamic social and cross-platform play. Beyond that, we’re investing in cloud gaming to enable deeper personalization and to eventually create a world full of user-generated content — blurring the lines between the discrete domains of game engines and game services. In fact, it is the merging of these two formerly distinct domains, along with the paradigm of cloud gaming, that is a key driver of the next-generation unified platform from EA.”
And while Project Atlas does appear to have benefits for game makers, it’s tough to see the upside for consumers, particularly in the event when the Internet stops working or if latency isn’t the greatest. The announcement comes after much noise from industry leaders has been made over the potential of cloud streaming. Though very little of it has come to fruition for consumers just yet.