Ivan Shvaichenko, Boosteroid: “cloud gaming plays a crucial role in gaming democratization – everyone can play any game on any device”

As advancing technology spreads across the globe, so will collaborative relationships. The rapid growth of the cloud gaming industry is one such example of impressive digital momentum.

Global communication is another benefit that cloud gaming contributes to. But, data storage and resource-intensive software requires hyper-protective structures to keep users safe. After all, cyberattacks aren’t decreasing in frequency. So, users should consider the best VPN for their gaming computer and mobile devices to add an extra-layer of protection.

It’s easy to underestimate just how integral cloud-services and platforms are in the entertainment industry. For more on this, we turned to Ivan Shvaichenko, CEO of Boosteroid – the 3rd largest cloud gaming service provider in the world.

How did the idea of Boosteroid originate? What has your journey been like so far?

Boosteroid’s development started in 2017. The idea behind Boosteroid is to provide easy access to video games from any device. That's regardless of its process power, operating system or platform. Our vision goes far beyond video games – a Netflix or a Spotify-like access to any resource-intensive software app is where the technology is heading.

That includes interactive video and Metaverse. Boosteroid started as a Ukrainian startup. In less than 2 years it became the third largest cloud gaming provider on the market after Nvidia GeForce Now and Xbox. It's operating 18 data centers across North America and Europe. There's also over 4 million customers from all over the world.

Can you tell us about the core services and expertise offered by Boosteroid?

Boosteroid offers one-click access to PC video games from any desktop, mobile or smart TV device. And, it doesn't matter what its processing power, operating system or platform is. With Boosteroid, gamers can enjoy the latest AAA titles on outdated or low-end computers. As well as Android or iOS phones, or even smart TVs without consoles.

Games are rendered on Boosteroid’s remote servers and the gameplay streams back to the user’s device over the Internet. Cloud gaming is like audio or video streaming. Users don't download and store content locally. They can do a simple one button click and watch a movie or listen to music with ease.

Can you elaborate on the hardware and software setup of your service? How does it enable seamless cloud gaming experiences for users?

We use custom hardware solutions developed together with Intel, ASUS, AMD and other Boosteroid partners. Our servers are optimized for cloud gaming and at the same time ensure an effective balance between performance and cost. This makes the business model behind Boosteroid work. Also, it's what likely makes it the only profitable cloud gaming business on the market.

Since Boosteroid's commercial launch in 2019, it has become one of the world’s largest cloud gaming providers. It's operating across half of the globe. Gaming requires very specific hardware setups to make sure the end-user gets a virtual machine (a remote gaming desktop) with optimal allocation of CPU, GPU and other resources.

Our virtualization, streaming and other software solutions are developed from scratch. We have custom software tools to ensure the lowest latency, high image quality and smoothness of gameplay on any device. This includes outdated or low-end computers and platforms where PC games are not supposed to run at all, like smartphones or TVs.

How did the recent global events affect your field of work? Were there any new challenges you had to adapt to?

What has affected Boosteroid the most is the Russian all-out military attack on Ukraine that started in February 2022. It's still going on, having emerged into the largest and most intensive war on European soil since World War II.

Boosteroid's team, based in Ukraine, has managed to keep the service up and running globally. That's despite constant missile attacks and combat in many areas across the country. Besides, Boosteroid had to adapt to the situation. Providing humanitarian relief and running economic recovery initiatives in Ukraine became as important as its core business model.

How does Boosteroid stay up-to-date on the latest gaming trends? Are there any challenges you face while running a cloud gaming platform?

Our R&D never stops. We always work on the server improvements to ensure an even greater performance with the latest AAA games. We improve our software, video decoding, and streaming protocols to ensure even users who do not have the best Internet connection can enjoy a decent gaming experience. One with the lowest latency, no jitter, optimal image quality and overall smoothness.

We face many challenges both from tech and business perspectives. After all, these are still early days for cloud gaming. The most important thing is that we know how to deal with these challenges. Since 2019, despite COVID, shortages and the war in Ukraine (the base of our current team), Boosteroid has grown to the largest independent cloud gaming provider and the 3rd market player.

Where do you see cloud gaming and the general gaming industry evolving in the future? What potential advancements or innovations do you envision in this field?

By the early 2030s, around 90% of gamers will opt for the cloud. What’s happening now with games is what has already happened to video and audio. Cloud gaming plays a crucial role in the democratization of gaming – everyone can play any game on any device. This brings games far beyond their core audience and attracts millions of casual players or even non-gamers.

In addition, cloud gaming will contribute to the development and adoption of interactive video content. Such as movies that're partially rendered on gaming engines, like Unreal Engine 5. Today most of the VoD/OTT providers simply do not have the hardware infrastructure capable of real-time interactive video streaming. Boosteroid already operates the infrastructure and GPU-based servers. It also can ensure ultra-low latency interactive online video streaming.

Could you share more about your partnerships with industry giants like Microsoft, Google, LG, and Philips. How do these collaborations contribute to enhancing your service?

We’ve partnered with Microsoft to bring Xbox and Bethesda, as well as Activision Blizzard (pending acquisition) games to Boosteroid cloud gaming service. We’ve already on-boarded many great games from Xbox with much more to come.

We’ve partnered with many TV companies, like LG, Samsung, Philips, Sharp, Skyworth, etc... This enables easy access to PC games directly on TVs without consoles.

Boosteroid is also one of the official cloud gaming partners for Google Chromebooks. It collaborates with Google on the Chrome OS client development.

Tech partners of Boosteroid include Intel, ASUS, AMD, Nvidia, Lenovo and many others.

Talking about cybersecurity, what security measures do you think are essential for every gamer online?

Of course, maintaining the security of one's game accounts is important. Many gamers invest thousands and tens of thousands of dollars in their Steam or Epic Games Store libraries. And, some basic security requirements like having strong passwords to keep it safe, are very important.

And even more so during account sharing. It’s also always better to buy DLC, virtual money, add-ons, etc., of your favorite titles from official stores. That way you aren’t scammed or end up buying a non-legit product.

It's interesting to hear about the cybersecurity aspects of cloud gaming. How does cloud gaming help address security concerns such as pirating and unauthorized access? What are the measures you have in place to ensure the protection of video games?

Effectively, Boosteroid is like a computer, where the only thing you can do is to launch a game via a digital distribution platform. One that's provided for you to follow all rules applicable to the launch of the game. When the game is running via Boosteroid, it’s not possible to get unauthorized access to the game or its files.

One can't reverse engineer it, get source code, interfere with game files, launch DRM-free versions, or launch a game without logging in to a game account or a digital distribution platform account, etc... Gamers have no access to the system files, as the virtual machine they run their game on is always protected. Even if it’s hacked, it simply shuts down right away.

What does the future hold for Boosteroid?

Today, Boosteroid is the third largest provider in the world. We will continue to grow and expand to new markets. First of all, we will grow in the developing countries, where gamers need Boosteroid the most.

In the future, Boosteroid will contribute to the emergence of interactive movies with its hardware and software solutions. Which will include low-latency real-time interactive video streaming.

Boosteroid has helped bring video games to platforms where they have never been available before (e.g. TVs without consoles). It will continue to do so with even more platforms and use cases (e.g. in-car gaming together with automotive providers).

In around 3-5 years, Boosteroid will run the IPO and has already started preparing for the listing. By around 2027, we expect to have 100 million active subscribers.

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