Square Enix shelves Shinra Technologies

Shinra 2

The bad guys always lose, so perhaps a cloud gaming experiment named after an evil Final Fantasy corporation was doomed from the start. A corporate notice from Square Enix spotted by Eurogamer has announced the closure of Shinra Technologies, which not so long ago it described as "the next evolution of gaming". Now Squenix is absorbing a ¥2 billion (£11.5/$16.9 million) loss.

We had an in-depth look at Shinra only six months ago and heard how it would handle computing like rendering and physics server-side, activating extra modules as necessary, and then push the result to all players. Latency was the key concern then, but a lack of investors has finished it off.

It's the latest in a series of cloud computing climb-downs in which marketing (or unbridled ambition) didn't translate to reality. OnLive, once billed as the 'Netflix for games' wound down and sold its assets to Sony. Now, Improbable is one of the few remaining start-ups pursuing a future in the cloud—but this lot have the venture capitalists on-side.