Is Google planning to enter the video game market?
Let’s look back a little bit
In recent months, the craziest rumors in the gaming industry have not involved the PlayStation 5 or Xbox Two. The most interesting talk has focused on a technology company that has been making silent moves to tackle video games in a big way: Google, the conglomerate that operates our email, our Internet browsers and much more.
Google has been exploring video game initiatives for most of the decade. In 2014, it was reported that the company was about to acquire Twitch before Amazon was launched. For years there were rumors that Google was also trying to launch an Android-based console, similar to Amazon’s Fire TV, but that didn’t happen. In 2016, the Niantic studio, incubated by Google, achieved one of the biggest gaming successes of the last decade with Pokémon Go, but the previous year it had become an independent company. And Google has a long history of hiring game developers for projects that never materialize.
In recent months, however, the talk about Google has become stronger. At the Games Developers Conference in March this year, Google representatives met with several major video game companies to gauge interest in their streaming platform, which is called the Yeti code, sources said (The existence of Google’s Yeti was first reported on The Information website earlier this year. Google also met at E3 in Los Angeles a few weeks ago, those sources said, and from what we’ve heard, the company is not only looking to attract game developers to Yeti’s service, but also to buy development studios entirely.
What exactly would Google’s video game platform be about?
The Google service would download the work of rendering graphics to rugged computers elsewhere, allowing even the cheapest PCs to play high-end games. The biggest advantage of streaming, unlike physical disks or downloads, is that it removes hardware barriers to gaming. Games like Call of Duty can reach a significantly larger audience if players do not need an expensive graphics card or console to play them. As one person familiar with Yeti described it: Imagine playing The Witcher 3 on a Google Chrome tab.