Shadow’s plan to smartly replace E3 and Gamescom

With Virutal Booth, Shadow offers publishers the opportunity to discover their games from a simple browser. No need to go to a salon to try them on.

E3 is no more. One of the biggest video game fairs in history has canceled its 2022 edition after a few already moribund years. The 2020 pandemic was the catalyst for a transformation already very present in video games: publishers no longer want to invest millions of dollars for a few days’ presence in a trade show with a stand. Players have now become accustomed to following conferences online, which has contributed to the decline in popularity of the lounges.

However, these events had a whole other interest that should not be overlooked: the possibility of testing future headlines even before their release. To effectively replace this use, a Frenchman has concocted a solution. This is Shadow.

Test a game in preview from your browser

With its new function Virtual Booth, Shadow wants to make smart use of its cloud computing infrastructure. The firm will offer publishers and video game studios the opportunity to use its virtual PCs in the cloud to offer a preview of their new titles to players. In reality, it is a function that has already been used, in particular by Bandai Namco to prepare for the launch of Elden Ring. No need to travel from one living room to another in the world: you access the game from home through a simple browser.

This time it is cloud gaming since the user no longer has access to the full Shadow PC, only the game offered by the publisher. He doesn’t even know that Shadow is on the move and will be able to connect to the demo directly from the game’s official site.

The advantage for the publisher is the collection of a lot of data during the use of the demo, but also a fairly firm control of the test environment and the time left for the game session.

Shadow also presentedEcho Session, which allows the game to be tested upstream within the video game studio, during playtest sessions or for the press. Shadow provides the publisher with a turnkey solution which also includes the issue of watermarking images, to prevent leaks, and data collection.

Editors will also be able to have complete control of the session and interact with the various testers to obtain relevant feedback on the test.

With Virtual Booth and Echo Session, Shadow seems to respond effectively to the problem of loss of interest in shows. Nothing will really replace the discovery of a game in the bend of an alley of a living room, but these two functions at least make life easier for publishers for the organization of tests with their fans or the press.

One wonders all the same to what extent a function like Virtual Booth could not evolve towards a competitor of GeForce Now. In both cases, it is a question of convincing a publisher to offer its game in cloud gaming by putting the person in charge of the service in a simple role of technological intermediary. It also recalls Google’s ambition there was a time with Stadia to offer its services under white label.

Since 2020, Steam has also taken up this subject with the Steam Next Fest which allows for a few days to download game demos on PC. With Shadow, it would be possible to refrain from downloading and the PC no longer needs so much power.

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