The Cloud Will Likely Power The Future Of Gaming And The Metaverse, But Will That Cloud Be Black Or Green?

Gaming is one of the fastest-growing industries in the world. According to a report by the research firm Mordor Intelligence, the market is expected to reach $314 billion by 2026. 

The traditional AAA gaming category is dominated by companies like Activision Blizzard Inc. ATVI and Electronic Arts Inc. EA. This traditional model of gaming, iterated on since the early days of arcades, is seemingly quickly being disrupted by new technologies.

Much of the buzz in the past year has focused on the advent of blockchain gaming and the metaverse. These models provide a way for the player to gain ownership over the time they invest in a game and the assets they earn within. 

The metaverse allows players to engage with each other in increasingly immersive and social ways, transforming the space entirely. According to a report by Bloomberg, by 2024 the metaverse will represent an $800 billion opportunity. Game devs the world over believe this and are investing heavily in the space.

Both blockchain gaming and the broader metaverse rely primarily on cloud computing to function. This is a trend seen across the internet, with a significant portion of all data trafficked either stored or processed in the cloud. At present, a handful of centralized companies like Inc. AMZN Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ: MSFT) essentially have a monopoly in the industry.

According to some experts, this brings a host of issues, but one of the most oft-overlooked — is their climate impact. These companies make bold and promising claims regarding their commitment to sustainability, but some argue that the claims often prove to be hollow. The basic functioning of these hyper-scale cloud providers can lead to massive amounts of waste from server farms that dwarf football fields. The servers sit idle and gobble up energy that all too often continues to be sourced from coal and other fossil fuel plants.

Furthermore, their efforts to offset their usage are reportedly effective only at times and can end up with negative results. The new forests they plant can become tinder for wildfires. A black cloud could be hanging over the polished image of Big Tech.

However, some newer tech companies believe there may be an alternative. The cloud computing platform Cudos is one example that says it thinks that the future is green and decentralized. Its platform distributes cloud-computing tasks across a vast global network of individual users, who offer the spare power of their already operating systems. 

This is meant to result in the network using energy that otherwise would go to waste. This model challenges centralized hyper-scale providers favoring the use of existing devices that are often idle. This ensures that the model is more sustainable through hardware recycling and practically outage-proof thanks to its decentralized nature with thousands of nodes.

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Featured photo by Pero Kalimero on Unsplash

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