CCP Games is experimenting with streaming the character creation process of EVE Online
to mobile and desktop devices via Amazon's AppStream service, which is currently being tested with a select group of developers.
CCP Games CTO Halldor Fannar appeared in a recent promotional video for Amazon -- embedded above -- to explain how game developers might take advantage of this type of technology to stream portions of downloadable games to players before the game itself is fully installed, reducing the delay between when a player purchases a game and when they actually start playing.
Amazon debuted the AppStream technology in November 2013 at its re:Invent conference in Las Vegas, and began accepting developers into a limited preview program shortly thereafter. Developers can still sign up for the program on the AppStream website
The AppStream tech taps Amazon's STX protocol to stream data from remote machines -- Amazon's EC2 cloud computing service -- to mobile or desktop applications operating on Android, iOS, FireOS, or Windows. It appears that you can set up AppStream to stream a complete game or only a portion of it -- so CCP theoretically could, for example, set up the EVE Online
character creator to launch from within the EVE Online
client and stream the character creation process while the full game was still downloading in the background.
Developers are responsible for integrating the AppStream SDK into their games and building the client applications -- all Amazon does is compute the data and stream it out. Bringing that service to market in a robust, reliable form might allow developers and even publishers to experiment with streaming their games -- or segments thereof -- to a wide variety of devices, entering a market that's already braced for the arrival of Sony's Playstation Now
and Square Enix's Project Flare