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Playruo: Making Game Demos Accessible Directly from Your Web Browser

Image Credits: Playruo
By: Headliners News / May 22, 2024

While cloud gaming’s future remains uncertain, one French startup, Playruo, is reimagining the gaming experience with a fresh twist. Instead of bringing entire games to the cloud, Playruo offers a streamlined solution: game demos accessible directly from your web browser.

The idea is simple yet innovative: just as you would open a Google Docs link to view a document, Playruo allows you to launch and play a game demo instantly without any installations. Founded by Fergus Leleu, Jean-Baptiste Kempf, and Yannis Weinbach, all former Shadow employees, the startup aims to revolutionize the gaming landscape.

Powered by Kyber, a cutting-edge bidirectional streaming technology developed by Kempf, who also serves as VideoLAN’s president, Playruo leverages open-source software components like FFmpeg and libVLC to encode and decode audio and video streams seamlessly.

I had the chance to test Playruo’s service in Google Chrome on macOS, and the experience was impressive. With just a few clicks, I was immersed in the demo, enjoying smooth gameplay as if the game were installed locally.

Beyond the technical prowess, Playruo presents an enticing opportunity for game publishers seeking to enhance their launch campaigns. By embedding demo links in video trailers or integrating them into game launchers, publishers can engage players instantly, fostering excitement and boosting potential sales.

Unlike traditional cloud gaming platforms, Playruo’s client base comprises game publishers themselves, who pay the startup to host demos. Weinbach, Playruo’s head of product, emphasized the platform’s focus on user engagement, contrasting it with restrictive models employed by other cloud gaming services.

While Playruo’s potential for virality could spell success for publishers, scalability remains a key challenge. The startup relies on public cloud providers like AWS and Google Cloud to power its servers, necessitating precise resource management to balance performance and costs effectively.

Nonetheless, Playruo’s approach holds promise, offering gamers a glimpse into the future of cloud-powered gaming experiences. With the ability to seamlessly transition players from demos to full-game purchases, Playruo is poised to make waves in the gaming industry, one click at a time.

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