While games-on-demand services have existed on consoles and PC for some time now, this is the first instance where a company is attempting to create a similar platform exclusively for mobile devices. With hatch, users are able instantly play various titles from “more than 100 developers and publishers,” according to a recent press release from the company.
Other games joining Hatch include Ubisoft-developed Rayman Fiesta Run, as well as critically acclaimed titles such as Ustwo Games’ Monument Valley, Frogmind’s Badland and Butterscotch Shenanigan’ Crashlands.
Hatch says that all games included in the platform offer “full-featured experiences” and that none of the titles feature microtransactions or arbitrary limits on play time. Similar to standard video game consoles, players will be able to share short gameplay clips as they occur, both to their Hatch feed and various social networks. The platform also includes real-time voice chat.
Given that Hatch is a streaming service, games don’t actually need to be downloaded. Instead, just like video streaming platform Netflix, games are played over the internet. While this frees up local storage space on mobile devices, bandwidth usage could be an issue for some users with small data plans, though Hatch notes that most games will use “significantly less [data] than HD video streaming, according to the company.
Hatch’s beta is so far only available in the U.K. and Ireland to Android users via the Google Play Store. It’s unclear when or if the beta will launch in Canada. The app is also part of Google’s ‘Early Access’ Play Store Selection. Hatch is currently free with ads. An optional paid, fixed monthly subscription that adds exclusive content and features and removes ads, will be introduced to the service later, according to the company.
Given how rampant piracy is in the Android ecosystem, especially as far as mobile games are concerned, a streaming service that makes it easy and convenient to play multiple, high-profile mobile games, is an interesting strategy. Hatch will likely find a limited audience, but it will be interesting to see how the experiment plays out over the next few months.
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