Eidos executive tells broadband providers they're holding gaming back

Chuck Osborn at

When a man who's the co-founder of tabletop game manufacturer Games Workshop and an Officer of the Order of the British Empire talks, people listen. Or at least that's the hope when longtime Eidos executive Ian Livingstone, who was promoted to the title of "life president" after Eidos was absorbed like a sponge by Square Enix, berated broadband providers for impeding growth of the gaming industry at the Broadband World Forum on Wednesday.

Ian Livingstone

In a 20-minute presentation titled "Super Fast Broadband for Super Fast Games Market," Livingstone told the telecom operators in the audience that "what we need is super-speed broadband" to keep up with the growing demands of the games marketplace.

"The games industry is big...it's the largest entertainment industry in the world," proclaimed Livingstone, who noted that the market is worth $50 billion now and will be worth $90 billion by 2015. "Games are now moving from a product to a service," he said, and gamers are increasingly playing games online and require reliable networks with low latency to enjoy an optimal experience. "We're still having to fight bandwidth to avoid latency" in an online environment where 40 milliseconds is the minimum to be unnoticeable.

"Big games need big broadband," Livingstone continued, referencing that every successive iteration of Call of Duty takes longer to download than the last because the files are getting bigger and bigger. "It's kind of crazy that we're fighting broadband the whole time in our industry. You're kind of holding us back in many respects. We want to do more."

"Gamers are the most demanding of Internet users. Game developers will all be pushing the limit of what technology has to offer. So, you must plan for what you can't predict as well as what you can," he concluded. "Super-fast games will drive demand for super-fast broadband, so, ISPs, please do not rest on your laurels."