Beyond the mobile game: games-as-a-service

Players of "Candy Crush," "Angry Birds" or other popular mobile games probably don't spend much time wondering about whether it should be classified as a product or a service. However, for developers, it's a distinction that could make all the difference in how they create and monetize their work. For several years now, app industry experts have praised the opportunity to use cloud computing resources--where companies have third-party firms host data and IT infrastructure virtually--for mobile apps. Just as software that was once run locally on a consumer's desktop can now be purchased via a software-as-a-service (SaaS) offering, vendors are creating games-as-a-service (GaaS) packages to help developers not only create their game but also analyze and optimize it without having to re-release the game across app stores or the Web. For more on this trend, check out this FierceDeveloper special report