Rovio’s Angry Birds heyday may long be over, but it’s not out of the game just yet. Starting next year, spin-off company Hatch will launch a new subscription streaming service on Android that looks to change the way we play games on our phones.
Instead of downloading what you want to play, users will select from a variety of games streaming inside the Hatch app. About 100 titles are promised at launch—including Badland, Cut the Rope 2, Leo’s Fortune, and Monument Valley, as well as some Hatch originals—and there will never be any need to update or unlock via in-app purchases. If you’re worried about the performance on your Galaxy S7, the company promises “highly-advanced cloud-based server technology” will keep games running smoothly as you move through levels.
But the Finland-based service isn’t meant just as a time killer—it’s designed to be a true social experience. Since everything is streamed, players can join at any time, and any single-player game can be turned into a multi-player one, where gamers can collaborate and compete, as well as broadcast their sessions. The service will be available in two tiers: free with ads or as a paid subscription with additional benefits. As far as how developers will get paid, Hatch founder and CEO Juhani Hokala simply says, “Leave the monetization to us.”
Update 4:45pm: The Communications Director from Hatch clarified a couple of things in an email to us. Developers will be paid based on play time—the longer you play a particular game, the more its publisher earns. Bandwidth use is claimed to be “roughly equivalent to streaming hi fidelity music over a service like Spotify.”
The impact on you: Whether it’s to kill time on our commute or trying to catch that elusive Pokemon, we all play games on our phones, and the prospect of being able to share that experience with friends near and far is intriguing. But aside from the cost of the service, it remains to be seen what kind of affect this will have on our data plans. Streaming games on the go sounds like it could be a huge gigabyte suck, which would quickly take the fun out of it.