Antstream Arcade’s Biggest Problems In 2024 and How To Avoid/Fix Them

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Antstream Arcade is a notable gaming platform for fans of almost everything gaming related from the 1970s to the mid-1990s. However, there is an annoying dance that Antstream Arcade must do in an attempt to stay relevant not only to the cloud gaming market but also to retro gaming enthusiasts as well.

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Antstream Arcade Debuted On Xbox But Was It The Best First Choice?

So the first thing I want to discuss is Antstream Arcade’s debut on the Xbox One and Series X/S line of game consoles in 2023. Before I explain why this might have been an odd decision, I first want to preface that this IS NOT meant to be taken as a petty console war argument (seriously does anyone older than ten actually take that stuff seriously?). The problem with Antstream Arcade debuting on Xbox first can be attributed to the Xbox Console sales numbers compared to Nintendo and Playstation consoles (where a large number of the games on the service were developed).

Now, I am certain that the Xbox launch has helped raise potentially tens of millions of dollars for the Antstream Arcade platform. But, I do feel there is probably a large number of gamers who are questioning why there is currently no Playstation or Nintendo Switch version of Antstream when a majority of the games on Antstream come from older Nintendo and PlayStation platforms. I also no doubt believe the release on Xbox has increased Antstream’s popularity, but I can’t help but wonder if Antstream had waited and released their platform on Playstation and Xbox at the same time, would the revenue and popularity have been a lot more? This is of course assuming Nintendo and Sony ever allowed the service on their platforms.

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Antstream Has To Do An Ugly Dance With Publishers To Stay Competitive

Another big problem that Antstream Arcade struggles with is the kind of sad little shuffle they have to do to get game publishers to renew their deals or even make deals to begin with. For every company like Neofid Studios, Piko Interactive, and Atari (who owns 10% of Antstream), there are also companies like Sega or Ubisoft who don’t license games to Antstream – or in the case of WB Games and Codemasters actually revoke licenses to some popular classic games. Now there is one strange outlier here and that is Namco which still allows games like Pac-Man and Galaga to be played on Antstream across any device including Xbox where they sell those games. However, Namco is only one big publisher and many other notable 80s and 90s game publishers are missing in action.

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What Can Antstream Arcade Do To Compete?

I want to next go over what Antstream can do to continue growth and continue to lead in the cloud gaming arena. The first thing Antstream needs to do is focus on what they have and look for a way to continue to increase the variety of games and platforms. The current platforms that Antstream Arcade offers games from include Amstrad PCs, Amiga PCs, Arcade games, Atari 8-Bit computers, Atari 2600, Atari 7800, C64 PCs, Game Boy, DOS Games, Atari Lynx, Sega Genesis/Mega Drive, MSX, NES games, SNES games, PlayStation One, MSX 2, ZX Spectrum, and Atari 5200. This lineup of platforms is a good one, but I can’t help but feel that Antstream is missing a trick by not adding some other platforms like the PC Engine/TurboGrafx-16, Game Boy Advance, and Atari Jaguar to its massive collection.

Antstream Arcade also needs to continue to not only expand the roster of publishers on its platform, but also expand the game offerings from publishers who are currently supporting Antstream. Let’s take Atari, for example, a game publisher who owns 10% of Antstream. Atari doesn’t have that many games on Antstream even though they own a lot of games thanks to their 2023 buying spree. Whilst I don’t think games like Bubsy 2, Demolition Racer, or Astroblast would lead to a massive increase in users, the additions would potentially lead to more gamers who remember such games signing up to relive some memories. Antstream needs to do this for several publishers they work with, not just Atari.

The last thing Antstream needs to do is expand where you can use their platform. Whilst PlayStation and Nintendo consoles are most probably inevitable thanks to the success Antstream has had with the Xbox version, there is a bigger platform that all three combined that Antstream NEEDS to get on: iOS. With Apple opening up the ability to run cloud gaming platforms on iOS it is now or never for Antstream Arcade to leap onto iOS.


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