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Services such as PlayStation Now and Gamefly already let you rent and play games over the internet. Now, a similar system is being brought to the mobile platform, thanks to a company that's been spun off from Angry Birds creator Rovio.
Hatch Entertainment's Android streaming service will launch for a small number of select users early next year. Once someone downloads the Hatch app, they'll be able to stream a variety of available games without having to download them and with no latency.
Among the 100 titles promised at launch are Badland, Cut the Rope 2, Leo's Fortune, République, Broken Age, and Monument Valley, as well as some "Hatch Originals" that are only available through the app. There'll be no need for updates, and Hatch said it is removing in-app purchases, focusing instead on "full-featured, premium experiences."
The system will include social features that allow players to share screenshots and videos through a feed, and turn single-player games into multiplayer experiences via a "shared single-player mode," which involves two people streaming the same game at the same time both controlling the gameplay from their device.
The app will be free-to-play, relying on revenue from ads. Like many services, there will be the option to remove the ads by signing up for a subscription, though prices have yet to be decided.
Game developers will be paid based on the amount of time Hatch users have been playing their titles. So far, 40 developers and publishers are on board, including Bandai Namco, Ubisoft, Double Fine, Frogmind, and GungHo Online.
When it comes to the dreaded issue of bandwidth, the app's usage is said to be "roughly equivalent to streaming hi-fidelity music over a service like Spotify."
"We believe Hatch will launch a social revolution in mobile gaming," Hatch's head of content, Vesa Jutila, told VentureBeat. "We have kind of lost that social aspect of gaming. We are going to bring the fun back to the games."
Services similar to Hatch have never really took off on other platforms, but it will interesting to see how the billions of smartphone users around the world take to it.