Understanding the Games as a Service (GaaS) Model

Game as a Service Model to create and develop a video game

The game industry has gone through many changes in the last decade, and there are a lot more changes on the horizon. The dramatic growth in mobile game development and new devices and platforms forced game developers and publishers to consider implementing a SaaS model for their titles. GaaS allows the game to be much more accessible to people in a timely manner and doesn’t need physical copies to be sold in a retail storefront.   

GaaS, or “games as a service,” is not only about how games are played, but also how they are developed, deployed, and maintained. GaaS enables the on-demand streaming of games to users’ devices. Access to the games is provided on a subscription basis. The actual game software is stored on the hosting company’s servers and is streamed directly to the player’s device via video codec. The result is a radical departure from the traditional game distribution model.  

How GaaS Works  

GaaS increases the availability of games to potential players. They now have access to multiple titles at any given time without the need to leave their house or grab their wallet. This means gamers do not need to purchase a physical disc or install the games on their device. They can play console-quality AAA titles without specialized hardware. GaaS services offload all the graphic processing onto cloud servers and stream directly onto your TV or other devices. With GaaS, players are saved from buying expensive hardware and the time and money to make upgrades to their PCs.


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Key GaaS Providers

GaaS is popular with game publishers, and there are many cloud-based game hosting companies that provide game streaming services. GameFly is one prime example of an early adopter. The company streams games for Samsung Smart TVs, Amazon Fire TVs, and LG WebOS 3.0 Smart TVs. Gamefly provides access to a diverse collection of games, and gamers can play for extended periods without advertisements.  

They can also save their progress for later on any GameFly-compatible devices. 

Similarly, Sony’s gaming cloud service PlayStation Now provides a game streaming service for Sony devices such as PS4, PS3, PS Vita, and PS TV. It also lets gamers access games on Samsung’s smart TVs and Windows machines. The service will let users stream and play PlayStation games across all of their supported devices. 

Google Stadia on multiple screens

In 2019 Google announced and released its new offering for this space, Stadia. By bringing your controller and key-fob like device wherever you go, grab your phone, and you are gaming up to 4K quality at 60fps. Google launched Stadia in November of 2019, and reviews are pretty solid surrounding its performance. And with every other mainstream console and game provider working towards this new model, it is only fitting that Microsoft gets in on the craze. Xbox has been previously working towards this by offering a gold subscription gaming catalog that was not cloud-based but did offer its users a download and go option. Now Microsoft’s Xbox team is looking to launch xCloud, their GaaS solution. This was announced around the same time as Stadia’s release but expects their own launch to be some time in Mid September of 2020, which is any day now.   

Using GaaS in Your Project  

The SaaS model is typically associated with retail, medical, and financial sectors. But GaaS is quietly gaining strength and popularity over time. With the market being joined by Microsoft, Sony, and Google, other companies and groups see the effectiveness and legitimacy of GaaS. If you’re planning on releasing a mobile game, utilizing the games-as-a-service-model could be the best way to distribute it. Whether you have experience releasing games on this scale or not, Zco Corporation leads the industry in bringing its clients’ games to market. Contact one of our skilled account executives today and find out how we can work together to implement a SaaS/GaaS model into your project.