TECHNOLOGY

Cloud-based start-up Playkey is democratizing gaming in Southeast Asia

Gone are the days when video games required powerful computers with the latest hardware updates

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BY Jared Carl Millan - 09 Oct 2017

PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images

These days, everything from documents to music and multimedia can be utilized or stored on the cloud. Recently joining the bandwagon are video games, whereby start-ups like Playkey are taking on the cloud with the express purpose of gaming.

Gone are the days when video games required powerful computers with the latest hardware updates. Now, with a small fee, users can play top-rated video games with only one prerequisite: a fast Internet connection.

“We believe there is no need to buy expensive or powerful computers, especially if you’re a gamer who only plays several hours a week,” says Egor Gurjev, founder and CEO of Playkey.

Because most of the heavy lifting will be done in the cloud, users will have no need to upgrade their hardware. “Today 70% of Steam players are unable to play AAA titles such as Grand Theft Auto V in high resolution, while 30% of players cannot even run these titles on their legacy PCs,” adds Gurjev. Playkey’s mission is to solve such problem by seamlessly combining the most recent developments in cloud technology and blockchain technology. As a result, the gaming experience overall will be cheaper for the consumer.

Console-free gaming

Another implication of Playkey’s innovation is that, in the near future, game consoles such as the PlayStation and the Xbox may be rendered obsolete.

In a statement, Playkey announced that cloud gaming solves two big problems gamers have been dealing with for the longest time: first, the long-standing drought of gaming options among Mac users as majority of high-end, non-mobile games have been chained to PCs (often, Windows) or consoles. “Cloud gaming allows games to become more platform-independent,” relates Gurjev.

The second problem surrounds time. “Some games require a download of hundreds of gigabytes, or more, before you can play them. Cloud gaming would allow you to start playing games instantly, as the server already has the game installed,” explains Gurjev.

For more dedicated gamers, Playkey’s catalog of games is massive, boasting some of the most popular games from 2015 to 2017, including PlayerUnknown’s Battleground, Overwatch, Dishonored 2, Friday 13, DOOM, Evolve Stage2, XCOM 2, Hitman, Rise of the Tomb Raider, GTA V, Fallout 4, The Witcher 3, Just Cause 3, Dark Souls 3, and MMOs by Wargaming.

Playkey's platform is used by 1.5 million gamers every month, using over one hundred Nvidia Grid powered servers based in four locations including London, Frankfurt, Amsterdam, and Moscow. The start-up has raised $2.8 million in funding from European venture capital firm IIDF, and is set to raise an ICO in November.

Playkey recently launched its services in Southeast Asia and China after winning the 2017 Slush Singapore Pitch Competition, a start-up conference held annually. This move is expected to receive a lot of attention, considering there is a huge gaming market in Asia where the gamers in the region do not often have the best equipment.