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Lucrative Cloud Service – Online gaming August 3, 2010

Posted by spdguru in Cloud Computing, Software as a Service.
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We often look for the most useful cloud service that businesses can adopt, and completely miss one of the most lucrative ones. Walt disney’s acquisition of Playdom last week is an attestation to this. VCs are pouring money into Zynga, the maker of Farmville. Farmville allegedly has 100 million players. It does prove the existence of a social gaming market.

The multiplayer online gaming (MOG) seems to be doing well given the investments being made by giants like Sony. Sony has offices in San Diego, Denver, Seattle and my home town – Austin,TX. It is likely that the global recession bolstered the industry by giving people more time to explore these online games. Like other cloud Services, games charge the player a monthly or bimonthly fee for access to the game’s servers.

According to a special report by the Economist “WPT (World Poker Tour) games are broadcast in over 150 countries to around 400m people. H2, a gambling consultancy, puts the global online-poker market at $4.9 billion, of which America (where the game’s legal status is dubious) accounts for $1.4 billion.”

The pure entertainment value of online gaming is undeniable. Greater value is gained when gaming is used to train and teach. The US Army is apparently looking into using games to train soldiers on Asymmetric Warfare. Online games is definitely a safer way to train for warfare. Not to be left behind poker proponents see in poker “a language for thinking about and an environment for experiencing the dynamics of strategy in dispute resolution”. According to Garry Kasparov, the chess grandmaster, poker offers lessons on chance and risk management that even chess does not. Using games to pique the curiosity of students is not a far fetched concept. We should expect some valuable online gaming/teaching tools in the near future.

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