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A Netflix for video games? Why a longtime dream is closer than ever to coming true

January 28, 2019 / Peter Graham

When Cory Burdette awoke recently to learn that Winter Storm Gia had caused a two-hour school delay in Reston, Va., he seized the chance to do a little family bonding. Plopping down in front of the TV, Burdette and his 5-year-old daughter spent the morning together playing Minecraft, the Lego-like adventure game where players construct buildings out of virtual blocks.“We play all our games together on the Xbox,” he said. “In Minecraft, we both get to build a house together, find monsters and explore.”The first time he fired up the game, Burdette had to wait for Minecraft to download and install on his Xbox before launching it. But by the time his daughter is old enough to play more-adult games, that wait could be a thing of the past.Major companies including Microsoft and Verizon are exploring how to replace game downloads with Internet-based game services, hoping to do for video gaming what Netflix and Spotify have done with TV and music. Instead of being run d...