The explosion of SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) has influenced several businesses to desperately add “a-a-s” in their name (no pun intended). One such phenomenon has been GaaS (Games as Service).
GaaS has been around for a while. Apart from industry notes, blogs and articles, even books have been published on this subject (check out Oscar Clark’s “Games as a Service”). It is being projected that all free games will be eventually sold through service (and not CD) model (refer here). Gaming companies are adapting to the changing marketplace, technology trends and consumer demands. They will continue to do so.
While this relatively new industry evolves and adapts, some interesting implications come up for other organizations in this eco-system.
What does this mean for the other SaaS businesses?
Storage and server business– In general, the cloud-based synch and storage firms are making a splash. The listing of Box (and not to mention – some kick-ass tie-ups with Microsoft) has truly made some waves. More suppliers are popping up; and more organizations are lapping up the model.
With the change in model of gaming companies – from CD basis to cloud server – the cloud-based-storage firms are having a dream run. The new model necessitates a strong cloud-based architecture. Microsoft Azure, in particular, has been making the most of this trend in GaaS. If you want to read more about how Satya is pushing some of these ideas through MS Azure, do check out this article.
Collaboration and project management – With the new model of GaaS, the armies of collaborators – game developers, content writers, marketing folks, maintenance folks, et al – suddenly need a lot more robust, flexible, safe and scalable models to collaborate. Be it Basecamp, or Atlassian, or Asana – a good, SaaS-based collaboration platform becomes critical to handle operations.
Communication – Let’s keep this simple, and just say that Slack has an interesting segment to chase.
Packaged, end-to-end solutions – Given some of the unique characteristics of GaaS, some niche companies have come up…that profess to bring a lot of the above (+ others) together. PlayFab is an interesting example.
See what they say on their website
“PlayFab’s Game Manager is mission control for your entire team, with tools for developers, product managers, marketers, customer service reps, and more. With Game Manager, you can configure, launch, manage, and optimise your game all in one spot.”
They are trying to streamline a large chunk of the GaaS industry back-end. And it seems to be working. Their recent round of funding (Click here for more details) is a testimony to investor interest and confidence in this kind of a business.
These are just a few of my observations. I am sure there are many other SaaS firms (and sub-categories) that have exciting solutions for the GaaS industry. Do share your perspectives.
Ramakrishnan M (@ramakrishnan_m_) is an Associate Director at Absolutdata. He helps SaaS and other Digital Subscription firms improve the conversion of free trial users to paid subscribers.