Video game streaming is a well-established technology, but making it a viable business has proven even more challenging than getting the tech working. For years, OnLive attempted to capitalize on an audience with its cloud-based gaming, eventually being bought out by Sony to improve its PlayStation Now service. However, GameFly wants a piece of this action, and it’s got a big asset helping it along.
VentureBeat has reported that the company has acquired cloud-streaming company Playcast, which will lead to the creation of an online game platform for games – similar in a digital distribution manner as Netflix’s movie streaming platform.
The company plans to debut the new service later this year exclusively on Amazon Fire TV devices at launch, although it also intends to bring its game streaming to other electronic devices, including smart TV’s.
GameFly has already announced several hit games that will be part of the service, including the Batman: Arkham series (although it didn’t confirm if this month’s Batman: Arkham Knight would be part of it), Darksiders II and DiRT 3, among others. It intends to sell packages that range around $7 in price. Players will be able to stream their game sessions with ease, although there’s no word on what kind of server support is being planned just yet.
While some gamers may not be used to on-demand game services, GameFly director Michael Moritz believes that it will catch on with the avid gaming community. He noted that “consumers have expressed strong interest in streaming games, much as they do with TV and movies.”
“This represents the perfect evolution of GameFly by extending its mission of providing the highest quality video games available to gamers however they want to play,” said GameFly chief executive officer David Hodess.
Even though GameFly is a far more popular service than OnLIve ever was (a recent ad campaign featured L.A. Clippers superstar Blake Griffin hyping game rentals), there’s still the lingering possibility that its game streaming service may not click. Although it has confidence that gamers are “ready” for this service, Sony’s PlayStation Now has had a slow adoption rate for fans upon introduction, mainly due to high rental rates. However, Sony has since remedied the problem with an affordable subscription plan, and introducing more high-profile titles like Puppeteer and Uncharted 3.
If GameFly can keep up on the back-end of playable games and make its service accessible across more devices (including desktop and laptop computers), it might really get somewhere with game streaming.