Apple, Google, Amazon and Facebook are betting on games. This is how they have done it so far

Microsoft, one of the first to enter games on its Xbox consoles in the early 2000s, announced last Monday that it will close its live streaming service, Mixer, before July 22. The company acquired Mixer in 2016 and last year paid game stars like Ninja millions of dollars to sign exclusive contracts.

For the past year and a half, Google launched its Stadia cloud gaming service, Apple introduced the Apple Arcade subscription service, and Amazon launched a free PC game called “Crucible.” Live streaming platforms like Facebook Gaming also compete for audience attention.

But after flashy launches, what happened to apple arcade or google stadia or some of these other products? We look at them below.

2019 was a great year for Apple to launch new services after iPhone sales declined. With consumers holding on to older phones longer and taking their time to upgrade to the latest model, Apple was relying on its new credit card, new streaming service, and even its new gaming company to generate the next round of profits. .
Apple Arcade, the company’s new gaming subscription service, launched what was essentially a curated selection of games last September from the company’s app store. At $ 4.99 a month, it can be shared on a family plan, making it an affordable deal.
Five bucks a month doesn’t seem like much money, but if Arcade is adopted by enough subscribers could be lucrative for Apple (AAPL). The company has not said how many people use the service.

In September, Joost van Dreunen, founder of video game investment firm New Breukelen, estimated that 50 million people could subscribe to Arcade in the next two years, which could generate $ 250 million for Apple each month, he said.

“I still believe that Apple Arcade has potential, but has a long way to go,” said van Dreunen on Saturday. “Its titles are beautiful and smart, but they seem to serve Apple’s aesthetic more than gamers looking for casual gaming and without complications”. content.”

While the service doesn’t get much attention online anymore, Apple regularly adds new games.

Arcade now has more than 120 games, playable on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Mac and Apple TV. It remains a viable service for gamers who exist in the Apple ecosystem and don’t own consoles or PCs.

Google Stadia

A visitor plays cloud-based games
Stadia, Google’s new cloud gaming service, officially launched in November, with some comparing it with the Netflix (NFLX) of video games. Stadia users can stream and play games via smartphones, web browsers, or wirelessly through a Chromecast.

Stadia manages to deliver a console-quality experience without clunky, space-consuming hardware. You also don’t have to wait and install games, saving hours of typical download time for serious gamers. In tests conducted by CNN Business last year, Stadia showed minimal lag thanks to the cloud, and the graphics loaded seamlessly onto the mobile, even in particularly intense battle scenes, as long as the internet connection was strong.

But the platform’s biggest challenge has been delivering content that appeals to gamers. Stadia now has more than 55 games on the service, with more being announced each week.

However, critics have noted that many of these games are already available on other existing platforms and consoles, so why should consumers switch to Google Stadia?

“Stadia has a long way to go,” said Dreunen. “The service is running out of track to make its way into the traditional console space as Sony and Microsoft prepare to launch their next-generation devices.”

Google declined to say how many users there are on the Arcadia platform.

Microsoft Mixer and Project xCloud

Microsoft is well established in games within Xbox Fans expect a new Xbox Series X console later this year; Xbox Game Pass had plus 10 million members as of April.
But outside of the Xbox ecosystem, other companies have had mixed results. Mixer will close on July 22, redirecting your page to Facebook Gaming. Its content creators learned of the change when it was announced Monday. In a statement, Microsoft explained that Mixer did not grow fast enough to match the company’s vision.

Now homeless streamers will have to decide whether to migrate to Twitch, Facebook Gaming, YouTube, or a smaller platform.

Mixer never grew large enough to challenge its live-streaming rivals Twitch, Facebook, and YouTube, despite the platform spending millions on recruiting talent. StreamElements reports from last year showed that the hours observed on the platform only increased Incrementally after Ninja joined, not enough to gain an advantage over Twitch.

In October, Mixer had only 3.2% viewing hours, according to StreamElements, which publishes quarterly streaming reports. (Contraction, on the contrary, constituted 75.6% of the hours observed).

In a statement, Microsoft explained that Mixer did not grow fast enough to match the company’s vision for its players.. “It became clear that the time to expand our own live streaming community was out of the question with the vision and experiences we want to offer players now, so we are shifting our focus to fulfill that vision.”

Project xCloud, Microsoft’s cloud gaming service, still has potential. It is in preliminary version for Android in 15 countries with more than 50 games and will be released later this year. CEO Satya Nadella said during the company’s April earnings call that hundreds of thousands of people are participating in the xCloud preview.

Amazon ‘Crucible’

In May, Amazon released a free shooting game “Crucible” for PC. But the game failed much promotion on the internet. Dreunen tThe founder of the video game investment firm called it “an unfortunate failure.”
Only a few hundred players are on Crucible at any given time, according to Steam Charts, which pulls data from the PC gaming platform, a small number when compared to box office hits like “Fortnite” and “Valorant”. Amazon did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

“Crucible” combines elements of adventure games and missions, such as defeating monsters by experience points, as well as features of popular shooting games.

Amazon’s game development arm has little brand recognition, so your reputation will depend on whether fans are excited about “Crucible” or its upcoming massive “New World” multiplayer game, analysts told CNN Business in May.

Whatever the outcome, Amazon already has its footing in the gaming industry by offering its web services to top developers and drawing millions of page views on Twitch, the king of live streaming.

Facebook games

An attendee plays a game at the Facebook Inc. gaming booth during the E3 Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles, California, USA, on Wednesday June 12, 2019. For three days, cutting-edge companies, innovative new technologies and never before seen products are exhibited at E3.  Photographer: Patrick T. Fallon / Bloomberg via Getty Images
Facebook Gaming launched in 2018 with the potential to tap into the massive audience of the social network.

As of last November, Facebook said that more than 700 million of its 2.4 billion active users “interact” with game content on its platform each month. But the statistic has caveats: Facebook counts anyone who has watched even a minute of content, played a game, or left a comment or reaction within a game group.

Unlike Mixer’s lukewarm growth, Facebook has vastly expanded its platform in hours of observation. In April, it brought in 291 million hours of observation, compared to Mixer’s 37 million. But both platforms are still overshadowed by Twitch, which saw 1.6 billion total hours watched, according to StreamElements.