How Stadia and Unreal Engine will kill Netflix
Founder On-Set Facilities
Very soon Stadia and others who follow will become the goto entertainment platforms for the masses, delivering not just games but also a new wave of mixed reality entertainment.
Here’s the how and why of it all.
First let’s take a look at this video. It was made with Realtime Pipeline™ that combines game engine realtime rendered sets with animations and live action people, (yes real people not those digital ones) and it is all composited in realtime. Now I want you to imagine this was not being streamed as a video file, but instead it was saved and packaged like a game, after all it was produced in a game engine.
It always starts with code.
First, there will be a fundamental shift in the protocols of entertainment delivery, we’ll move from the closed streaming video codecs of streaming video to the open object code based protocols of games. Game code if you want to call it that, enables interaction at both a human and machine levels in realtime.
Think how a game is packaged for distribution on a market, then downloaded and run on a console or PC. Now consider video in comparison which is essentially a dumb protocol that is simply streamed. Entertainment companies will shift from producing video final pixels to developing realtime code.
Mixed reality entertainment production is still in it’s infancy, but with the arrival of virtual production technologies such as Realtime Pipeline™ powered by Unreal Engine, Directors and Producers can now shoot, edit and add complex VFX all in a game state framework. These new forms of mixed reality entertainment can then be published not as video and not strictly as a games, but as a mixed reality experience that can be shared across and accessed by any internet connected screen device.
Video will become the link to more.
Will video formats die out? No, but video will take a back seat and be like an old animated gift adverts that we used to see around the web. The video will be a teaser to the full experience, a lame dumb version of its other self that will be hosted on a cloud based mixed reality entertainment platform. Video will pull us in, videos will be the new messages of what’s beyond the jump, but video will not be the final pixel delivery format of entertainment in the future.
Mixed reality entertainment platforms will bring true interaction to 2D entertainment, with live linking to social media and instant messaging platforms people will be able to link directly to any part of a mixed reality experience. You wont need to invest in hardware but you’ll still need the best screen you can afford, but the delivery of your entertainment will be through Stadia and its 10.7 teraflops of GPU power, not your console or local device. (Invest in screen display companies.)
When you access game say a future series of Game of Thrones on a mixed reality cloud server, you’ll watch in interactive 4k or 8K running at 60fps on any device, be it your mobile phone, your laptop, your big screen TV or in a cinema. The move to object code based delivery formats will open the floodgates to an endless amount of content from both home-brew and studio produced mega hits. Cloud content builds on where we are today, creating not a new internet but a richer and more flexible one where everything is open to developer intervention.
What this means for the content industry
Well, first off you are going to need some new kit, it’s out with all that video editing and post equipment and that broadcast tech. It’s in with realtime software production pipelines, editing in game engines, retouching in realtime, running visual effects in realtime. We’ll still want to capture any real work objects such as actors in the best quality possible, but the video will be transcoded and composited into the virtual world. We’ll think about things as non linear, object based and open. Entertainment formats could even have open API standards that would allow producers to integrate personalised advertising or product placements in realtime based on the end users data self. You could watch a series of say Homelands and certain things in the show will be tailored to you.
Everyones talking games, but it’s like the Trojan horse has arrived on-set, quietly blindsiding the content industry and bringing with it a whole new paradise of content entertainment. We’ve taken video as far as it will go, now it’s time to let it go and start producing content in code.