Denis Dyack has told GDC Europe attendees that embracing cloud computing will stop games becoming obselete.
"Our first game was released in 1991, and it ran on a 386 I think," said Dyack. "If you wanted to play that now, you just can’t – you need that hardware. This doesn’t happen with movies. Although the medium of distribution changes with time – from reel to VHS to DVD – the actual consumption method hasn’t really changed at all."
Dyack believes that, because the hardware is ‘hidden’ in the cloud model, providers could feasibly put anything behind that – from a 386 computer to a GameCube or top-of-the-range PC – thereby keeping games playable forever without users needing to retain or repurchase old hardware.
"That first game of us, Cyber Empires, has become abandonware. When you’ve been in business as long as we have, you start to think about IP retention a lot more – and the cloud model can offer us this."