Games, Persistence, The Cloud, The Future

If you play MMOs, if you're using cloud storage for games (as we're moving towards), think for a moment how long a "game" will survive.  Your collection of memory sticks and outdated save cards is nothing compared to the way gaming is going.  I see it entirely possible that game data will survive for years, for more than a decade, in some situations.

This likely possibility is something those of us who play and make games and media should be seriously considering.

  • MMO's will have to decide what to do with old data – and also the fact that each inactive account may yet become income producing.
  • If anyone remembers the way some Metal Gear games used save files, those old save files could be used in so many ways in other games – or sequels.
  • What happens when a game gets re-released?  What do you do with save files floating around in the cloud?
  • When a game gets a sequel/spinoff years later after whatever legal/ethical/company fooaraw delays it save files that can be used for extras, bonuses, etc. may still be out there.
  • With all the ways to use old save and game information, what are the legal limits of what data you can use?
  • * What legal rights does a company have to use data saved under previous games?

If you're a programmer or producer in gaming, a lot of potential opportunities and challenges are coming just due to sheer persistence of data.  Some of these could be trouble – and many could be opportunities.

Steven Savage