Armageddon already started? Why didn't anyone tell me that two of the four horsemen have already joined forces and started plotting ways to bring desolation and ruin to the lives of nearly 22 million people? Man, that's what happens when you don't keep up with apocalyptic news happening in social media.
Anyway, Reuters is reporting that Electronic Arts and Comcast – one of which was a two-time running champion as the Worst Company in America, and the other who recently won as the Worst Company in America – are joining forces with a streaming deal that's being finalized.
I'm sure there are already flashes happening in the minds of gamers as if Darth Maul tag-teamed with Darth Vader, or if Dennis Miller and Bill Maher co-hosted their own talk TV show, or if Bill O'Reilly and Rush Limbaugh decided to become running mates for the 2016 Presidential elections.
The reality is that the announcement has sent ripples throughout the community, given that EA will have their games hosted through a cloud streaming service provided by Comcast. With net neutrality being evaporated like droplets of water dribbled onto the hot sand of the Sahara desert, this kind of monopolistic communion reeks of so much corporate gain that even the devil himself blushed with envy.
As mentioned in a GameSpot article...
“Games from the Madden, FIFA, Monopoly, and Plants vs. Zombies franchises were called out as those being available for streaming. The report goes on to say that you'll be able to use a tablet you already own as a controller to play the games, suggesting the games on offer will be smaller, mobile games rather than bigger, console-level titles. The list of available games is reportedly still being hashed out.”
Good grief that sounds abysmal.
It's not abysmal in the sense of playing games through a streaming service – Sony is already looking into this service for backwards compatibility for PS3 games being playable on the PS4 via PlayStation Now, and it would also be a service that Microsoft should look into regarding backwards compatibility for the Xbox One, aside from their research into emulation – it's that this opens a door for a monopoly on game streaming.
Anyone who thinks this is far-fetched, think again. Comcast already runs a monopoly throughout various parts of America, and with the lift on net neutrality it means that, technically, Comcast could raise fees on game streaming that doesn't include an option provided within their service plan.
So for example, theoretically, if you opt to use PS Now over EA's game streaming, you could potentially see higher fees if you're subscribed to Comcast.
Of course, we won't know for sure how well this service will work out because we don't know if this service will even be widely adopted by current Comcast/Xfinity users.
But keeping it real, Reuters points out that...
"This could create a new distribution model that circumvents console and video-streaming device makers,"
For casual gamers, this could be an option they might explore, but there's no way this would take off with the core crowd. I mean, we all saw what happened with OUYA, right?
Amazon is trying something similar with their Fire TV, but the verdict is still out as to whether or not game adoption will pick up with the casuals looking for a good set top box to stream television content.
I should also mention that this completely destroys Microsoft's bid to get in on the TV arena...
$500 to watch TV on your TV just looks completely useless compared to some of these new services... although, I can't say that I'm excited to see the sort of fees associated with EA and Comcast's new game streaming service.
Oh, and just in case anyone forgot. Here are just a few reasons why EA used to be considered the worst company in America:
1.) NHL puck bug
2.) NHL bug keeps taking money: the sequel
3.) Scrabble terrorizing old people
4.)Dungeon Keeper gets the government involved
5.) Simcity's DRM Lies: The Game