The idea of mobile games on big screens has been gaining in popularity of late, with several companies looking to get in on the market space. One of the latest such attempts to step in is BlueStacks, which was formerly well known for bringing Android apps to desktop PC platforms. Now, with BlueStacks' Gamepop service, the company is poised to make a splash in the gaming market as well.
BlueStacks' Gamepop service offers its subscribers access to 500 different Android game titles, routing said titles through a game console that bears more than a little resemblance to a Boxee Box with a different color scheme. Those who get in on the pre-order running this month will get the console--and a controller besides--at no charge.
Naturally, this isn't the first we've heard of such endeavors. The Ouya is already showing up--though some reports suggest that the Ouya has proven a bit disappointing so far--and the GameStick is also out there. But according to Rosen Sharma, CEO of BlueStacks, there's more to Gamepop than meets the eye. BlueStacks is eager to get Gamepop to show up on a variety of different devices, beyond televisions, to make it essentially the Netflix of gaming.
Some might want to tell BlueStacks here that Gamefly is really more the Netflix of gaming than BlueStacks, but there's a point here that BlueStacks has with Gamepop. BlueStacks has already aligned itself with Glu Mobile
and Halfbrick to bring out more games, and new developers can easily join in the fray, since all developers need is a game on Google Play
. BlueStacks then shares subscription revenue with developers, and if there are in-game purchases to be had, BlueStacks lets those go completely to the developer. This is a good deal for developers, and that's likely to put more punch in BlueStacks' offering and make people more inclined to drop the necessary $6 a month to join.
One thing that's clear from this approach is that there's plenty of room in the field for such an idea. Mobile games--which is essentially what Android games are--enjoy a particular point of place in gaming right now. Core gamers--those who stick to broader PC and console gaming titles--only make up about 15 percent of the total gaming picture. The rest is given over to casual gamers
, and getting casual gamers into the action means the possibility for a pretty big market.
With the triple-A gaming market having seen better days, and a growing number of gamers turning to casual gaming, bringing out a console for casual gamers isn't a bad idea at all. If Gamepop can keep up its slate of offerings--maybe get the disc titles involved too like Gamefly does--then it may well truly be the Netflix of gaming, offering both streaming and disc options, a little something for everyone.
Gamepop has an exciting start to its credit, but can it keep this pace up? Only time will tell just how far this truly can go, but things are certainly looking good for Gamepop.