Game announcements are spewing out of the Los Angeles convention center as E3 2011 is in full swing. Promises from developers and publishers reveal more than factoids about specific games. They indicate broader trends of the gaming future to come. Now, with more and more cards laid out on the table, a simple divination is clear: an information revolution is brewing and multiplayer gaming will never be the same.
Although Valve’s Gabe Newell has predicted (and notably advocated for) the delivery of games as a service, his vision has only slowly come to fruition. With the announcement of Modern Warfare 3’s Call of Duty: Elite, a new era of content delivery seems guaranteed. Meanwhile, coupled with the continued growth of alternative distributions models, a wave of player-tailored information is dramatically changing what we come to expect from our multiplayer experiences.