Much like music, movies and TV programmes, the way that video-games are played and delivered is rapidly changing.
And at this year’s trade fair Gamescom in Germany, a new company from Finland has been demonstrating its on-demand service for mobile gaming.
SCRIPT: Hatch is a Helsinki-based startup, spun-out from Rovio Entertainment, best known for creating the ‘Angry Birds’ franchise.
It’s created a smartphone app that allows users to browse over 200 mobile games and play them in an instant.
That’s to say there’s no need for downloads, the game is streamed directly to the mobile device, meaning users can also record and share gameplay moments as they happen.
“Many of the heavy hitting brands in the games industry are looking into subscription at the moment, we think it’s kind of the future” says Vesa Jutila, co-founder of Hatch Entertainment.
“And technology-wise what Hatch is doing on mobile, there’s no limit why that couldn’t be brought to other consumption devices like PC, set top boxes or you name it.”
For $10 a month, it means gamers can download and play over a-hundred titles.
“I think the future of gaming is you’ll have a set of really core gamers that are going to want to pre-order and buy and play those games day one when they come out. And you’ll have another set of consumers that will want the best value for their money and to be able to get a large library like that of 100 titles for one low price” says Aaron Greenberg, Head of Microsoft Xbox Games Marketing.
Much like music streaming service Spotify, users are able to download the app for free with advertisements.
But don’t fetch your smartphone just yet, ‘Hatch’ is still in the testing phase, which is only open to Android users in Finland.
“We think the opportunity is in mobile devices, there are billions of smartphones, that’s the prime gaming platform of today already and therefore it makes total sense for us to focus on smartphone users and bring them a new, more intuitive, more instant experience to play great games on demand” says Jutila.
But not everyone’s convinced.
“The proliferation of digital wasn’t easy” says the U.K. Editor of Gamespot, “it’s more popular now and people are more into buying digital games, but to start with there were some teething problems, people weren’t into the idea of buying digital games that they didn’t have a physical version of. It works for mobile games to some degree, but it’s going to be a lot more difficult to get it going for the types of experience people are here (Gamescom) to see. You know, the Halos, the Forzas, that kind of stuff.”