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Activision may use Google Cloud AI to personalize microtransactions

Google's cloud gives publisher much more freedom to natively implement new in-game features and scour analytics

By Derek Strickland on Jan 24, 2020 06:30 pm CST - 2 mins, 43 secs reading time

Activision-Blizzard will now host its games from Google's cloud infrastructure, a move that could have massive implications for future games.

Activision may use Google Cloud AI to personalize microtransactions |

Activision-Blizzard will use Google Cloud as a new delivery mechanism to expand its games. We'll see high-octane online multiplayer games like Overwatch and Call of Duty tighten up with improved latency, but the real possibilities go beyond boosted connectivity. The publisher could use Google Cloud to tremendously boost engagement by directly reaching gamers on a personal level.

For example, Google Cloud's AI will constantly monitor and develop behavior profiles based on how and what you play. That data could be compounded if you link your YouTube account to the game for, say, extra in-game currency. The cloud could even enable native YouTube video/stream embeds right into the games themselves--and give gamers rewards for watching specific content.

Armed with these AI-fueled analytics, we'll see more targeted advertisements, discounts, and deals, as well as a new era of interactivity that's predicated on Activision-Blizzard's sole objective: Monetizing engagement.

The whole idea is to create a more personable experience by using the online data gathered by Google's cloud AI. This data will also help Activision-Blizzard mold their live games around content players actually enjoy and want to play using real-time numbers.

Here's how the company described the new partnership in a recent press release:

"Players will benefit by experiencing premium network quality-of-service, including low latency and packet loss when playing high-fidelity games on any device. They will also have optimal personalized interactions, as Activision Blizzard can tap into Google Cloud's AI tools to offer curated recommendations for in-game offers and differentiated gaming experiences."

The biggest implication surrounds microtransactions and in-game player spending.

Remember that Activision matchmaking patent specifically designed to incentivize microtransactions? That could manifest and become a reality using Google Cloud's tech. We're not saying that it'll definitely happen, but it's possible, and we fully expect to see the publisher use the flexible cloud platform to heavily monitor and track purchases.

Using this data, Activision-Blizzard could likewise create special user-specific microtransaction offers--discounts on a specific skin, an in-game objective that nets you a certain item, etc.--designed to promote player spending.

This model has massive implications for both current games and upcoming titles like Overwatch 2 and Diablo 4, both of which will be monetized in some way.

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Derek Strickland

ABOUT THE AUTHOR - Derek Strickland

Derek is absorbed with the intersection of technology and gaming, and is always looking forward to new advancements, whether it's VR with the Oculus Rift or Augmented Reality. With over six years in games journalism under his belt, Derek aims to further engage the gaming sector while taking a peek under the technology that powers it. He hopes to one day explore the stars in No Man's Sky with the magic of VR.


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