Is QUAKE LIVE the Future of Gaming?

Quake LiveQUAKE LIVE was launched to eager Internet gamers earlier this week. The new game is based on the 10 year-old critically acclaimed Quake III by 3D gaming experts id Software. However, this version is free and is played directly within a browser anywhere and at any time.

Quake Live action shotThe game has been insanely popular during the first few days. If you have managed to play it, then you are one of the lucky ones. Many people were left waiting in virtual queues that exceeded 50,000 in depth. Id Software have apologized for the problems and are working on a solution. However, you are unlikely to get a quick blasting fix unless you are very, very patient.

Although the game is browser-based, there are some limitations:

  • it is only available to Windows PC users – there is no news about Mac or Linux availability as yet
  • it only works in IE7 or Firefox 3 (not version 3.1) – so Opera, Chrome, Safari, and Lynx fans are likely to disappointed
  • you need to install a browser plug-in to play.

Quake Live actionThere are rumors that the game is developed using Adobe Flash, although the dedicated plug-in is likely to handle much of the graphical gaming effort. The browser is primarily used as the game’s delivery mechanism rather than being the basis for its implementation.

However, it is early days. Whether you assume QUAKE LIVE to be truly browser-based or not, the game matches the quality, playability, and speed of console-based gaming a generation or two ago. Until now, Flash and browser games have been simplistic but perhaps this high-profile release offers a glimpse into the future direction of the games industry.

Have you managed to play QUAKE LIVE? Did you need to wait long? Was the game any good and would you recommend it? Could this be the start of high-end on-demand browser gaming?

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  • Giancarlo Colfer

    This is exciting news to hear!

  • Anonymous

    So, this is better than just installing and running the game at the OS level because…?

  • http://www.hiveon.com Hiveon

    That’s pretty sweet. I’m going to have to download it and try it out.

  • http://www.hiveon.com Hiveon

    download the plugin i mean ^^^

  • Anonymous
  • Anonymous
  • Steven

    It’s better because you don’t have to store the game locally.

    Moving the game to server also makes piracy more difficult if they do choose to take this to a pay-for account setup in the future. Payment plans could be expanded to easily include hourly in addition to monthly or yearly subscriptions.

  • Gears

    Going to wait in line right now to give it a try

  • Gears

    Position in queue: 4817 :)

  • he

    Been Playing this since July.

  • Steven

    Many people may prefer this because they can’t or don’t want to store a game locally.

  • http://www.SitePoint.com Matt Mickiewicz

    Damn, shouldn’t have got that MacBook Pro. Now I can’t play Quake online :)

  • W2ttsy

    yay, now the PC fan bois can start the Macs can’t play games argument again…

    luckily I have an old PC here to play it on. Waiting in the queue…

  • Tarh

    So, this is better than just installing and running the game at the OS level because…?

    That’s a very good question. Browser-based games (no matter to what extent) are certainly not the future of gaming; anybody who’s played a serious game recently will tell you that.

  • Steven

    So, this is better than just installing and running the game at the OS level because…?

    Because this technology is run mainly client-side, it’s not a stretch to say that Counter Strike 1.6 or World of Warcraft could use similar technology. WoW players would love not having to sit through the long install and patch updates.

  • http://www.jasonbatten.com NetNerd85

    Browser-based games (no matter to what extent) are certainly not the future of gaming; anybody who’s played a serious game recently will tell you that.

    It maybe the future of online multiplayer gaming. I like to play Singleplayer games mostly but online is fun sometimes, the less hassle I have for those moments I do want to play MP the better?

    I suppose the best use for this kind of game is at work… =) definitely.

  • http://www.jasonbatten.com NetNerd85

    Position in queue: -1107446, but how?

  • http://www.optimalworks.net/ Craig Buckler

    Whilst it’s difficult to classify Quake Online as a true browser-based game, there is no reason why gaming could not move into the cloud in the same way other applications have.

    We could see dedicated “gaming” browsers that contain 3D engines and other libraries. We’re probably some years away from it, but it offers the advantage that you won’t have OS/driver installation hassles, you can play your favorite game anywhere, your settings are saved, and updates are instantaneous.

    However, possibly the most compelling reason is that manufacturers could receive ongoing revenues by charging per play or per month. Piracy would also be minimized – if not wiped out.

  • Tarh

    Please perform a Google search for “Steam.”

  • nachenko

    This is a great move against piracy, that’s what it is.

  • MikesBarto2002

    I finally got through on the queue, and I must say that I am really impressed. My question is how they are managing to keep this free of charge? I didn’t see any advertising on the page.

  • http://www.olsenportfolio.com/ nrg_alpha

    Man, I miss the Quake days.. Between the rock-jumping, nailguns (along with the Nine inch nails logos on the ammo crates) and zapping other multiple players duking it out in deep water using the electric gun while armed with pentagram of protection are unrivaled IMHO. So Nostalgic!

    Over at gamasutra.com (http://www.gamasutra.com/view/feature/3946/building_quake_live_carmack_speaks.php) they have an interview with John Carmack, the lead programmer (who pioneered the whole first person shooter genre) with regards to Quake Live. I have tremendous admiration and respect for Carmack and ID Software in general. They are a talented bunch who really know their stuff.

    John has been a strong advocate for gaming on mobile platforms, and strongly believes that this is where the future lies. Given the advancements in devices like iphone (and we know they’ll only grow more capable down the road with each product iteration), I think Carmack is right. It may not ever completely replace full-blown desktop / laptop gaming, but it certainly is on the rise as it is, and shows no signs of slowing down. We could be in for a ride with developers like ID looking into seeing just how far they can push technologies onto lesser capable devices. If anyone can put current mobile developers to shame, ID would be up there as one of those that could do it.

    Best of luck to Quake Live, John Carmack and his team. IMO, a nice glimpse at what we might possibly be seeing with mobile gaming down the road!

  • Anonymous

    “There are rumors that the game is developed using Adobe Flash, although the dedicated plug-in is likely to handle much of the graphical gaming effort.”

    Hahahahaha, yeah, sure, this is flash.

    Coincidentally, that’s why they need a separate plugin.

  • Aphenitry

    “There are rumors that the game is developed using Adobe Flash, although the dedicated plug-in is likely to handle much of the graphical gaming effort.”

    Hahahahaha, yeah, sure, this is flash.

    Coincidentally, that’s why they need a separate plugin.

  • http://www.mikehealy.com.au cranial-bore

    We could see dedicated “gaming” browsers that contain 3D engines and other libraries. We’re probably some years away from it, but it offers the advantage that you won’t have OS/driver installation hassles, you can play your favorite game anywhere,

    Not really. The client machine still needs to be powerful enough to render the graphics. So you’re still going to need to have your video card drivers installed, and playing anywhere will depend on the specs of the machine you happen to be on. Granted Quake III is not demanding by today’s standards, but in general you won’t get a free-pass on the required system specs.

    I also don’t see how constantly moving the game content over the wire is better than installing locally. Bandwidth is more expensive than storage. The games would probably be sold by subscription, so you might end up paying much more in the long run than a single purchase price.

  • http://www.sitepoint.com/articlelist/487/ Andrew Tetlaw

    I think this is going to become more popular. EA and DICE are running a private beta of Battlefield Heros, another free game that is equal in quality to a desktop game, that is launched via a browser.

    I tried QuakeLive, but being browser based didn’t improve my Quake skills any…

  • http://www.optimalworks.net/ Craig Buckler

    The client machine still needs to be powerful enough to render the graphics.

    That’s why we’re probably a few years away yet. But, even today, it is technically feasible … it’s just unlikely to happen within the current set of browsers.

    I also don’t see how constantly moving the game content over the wire is better than installing locally. Bandwidth is more expensive than storage.

    The game could still be downloaded and stored in the local cache just like other web pages and applications. After that initial hit, the game would only need to connect for multi-player games.

    The games would probably be sold by subscription, so you might end up paying much more in the long run than a single purchase price.

    There are many charging models, but you would only end up paying for games you really enjoyed and played frequently. How many games have you bought then only played for a few hours? You would never waste money on poor-quality rubbish again.

  • Pieter

    EA and DICE are running a private beta of Battlefield Heros, another free game that is equal in quality to a desktop game, that is launched via a browser.

    Battlefield Heroes will be free-to-play, but I really don’t think it is played in the browser…
    You may be able to join servers via links in the browser, but that’s nothing new, if that’s what you meant.

  • http://www.simplewebgears.com Darren884

    This game is awesome.

  • zammbi

    They should of made it in Java. Then it would of worked in every browser on every OS. There are also many Quake clones on Java that been doing this for years.

  • BobbyJones

    I miss the Quake days too! I’ll to have inform my friends about this who also grind warcraft gold on WoW to level up our characters. Hopefully, Quake Live will not disappoint us.