The tangled relationship between publisher, player and journalist could soon see another twist in the form of cloud-computing game service Gaikai.
According to a Develop Blog Post from Gaikai co-founder David Perry, online previews of videogames could soon feature demos embedded alongside a critic’s written analysis.
Speaking of the current preview system in various online publications, Perry said,
“[The] current model is the journalist explaining what he or she saw and thought. But, how about the article is written next to an actual Gaikai demo of [the game]?
“Like YouTube, a game on Gaikai can be embedded onto other sites. So, imagine a demo of the game is embedded next to an article, where the reporter can explain where to go, what to see, give opinions on things that the players can actually see for themselves.”
Perry was positive about the process, saying that publishers “are going to love” journalists if a preview yielded a notable number of demo ‘hits’.
“Every single person reading the preview, and starts to click on the game, means that the journalist just found an interested gamer for the publisher, for free,” he added.
The concept of, quite visibly, moving the sphere of journalism even closer to product promotion is likely to raise many eyebrows.
Many writers are strict in their view that the reporter and publisher need to politely be kept at arm’s length for the good of their common audience.
Though it is widely accepted that both elements would be severely hampered without the other, the concept of a journalist benefiting from a publisher’s success – such as diverting online traffic to a Gaikai demo – may raise accusations of a conflict of interests.
Perry’s idea was not brought forward with the intention to bring the journalist and publisher closer together, but instead to empower the player with the chance to see a game for themselves, and in fact bringing the player and critic closer together as well.
“That’s because Gaikai is a service,” he said. “We’re not dictating where it goes. That’s not going to happen with OnLive.”
Elsewhere in the Blog Post, Perry explains how Gaikai was formed, and reveals his intention to see the service available on consoles’ online stores such as Xbox Live Marketplace, Wii Ware and PSN.