One year since announcing our mission to the world from the Founders Stage at Slush, Hatch has proven that cloud gaming is a new reality, with implications for the whole gaming industry. We’re just getting started.
A year ago today, I stood onstage at Slush and announced that Hatch had spun out from Rovio to form a new company. We were on a mission to change the way people play mobile games - to introduce the first ever cloud gaming service for mobile where people can play all games instantly on-demand without downloads and where people can enjoy quality time with their friends and family over the games they love.
As the most reported and talked about startup story at Slush (news reports in some 31 different languages covered our announcement) clearly there was real appetite for what we were planning to offer. But one year later, how have we delivered?
Getting up and running
We were always confident in our ability to deliver games via the cloud - we wouldn’t have made such a bold statement at Slush if we weren’t - but without having demonstrated the live service, reasons for skepticism outside the house were understandable.
Early this year, we began putting those doubts to rest with the release of our closed beta, putting our service to the test with real players and unpredictable situations. By late summer, we were confident enough to open Hatch Beta for all Android users in Finland and soon after the the whole Nordic region - and now much of central Europe too. We’ve even had (and dealt with) our first trolls - a sure sign you know you’re doing something right!
Meanwhile, as the service, games and tech have proved themselves over the past year, we’ve seen a groundswell of interest and growing support for Hatch from the games industry, with more than 250 high quality premium games from over 100 game studios and publishers to date. To celebrate the occasion, our “Hatchmas” Advent calendar starts tomorrow and we reveal a different hand-picked game to play every day until December 24.
Change is inevitable
One year on, what we’ve done is starting to sink in. The era of cloud gaming - with games running in cloud and mobile devices acting as screens and controllers - is really here to stay.
For starters, games can get a whole lot more social now, from playing games together to experiencing completely new kinds of multiplayer experiences not seen before. And perhaps even more importantly, the fact that we can stream high-quality games anywhere - as we would movies or music - will have profound implications for the whole gaming industry.
Transformation in our industry is underway, and there's no turning back. As we lead the charge, I’m really proud of the whole Hatch team. A lot more is coming in 2018!
Juhani Honkala is founder and CEO of Hatch. Follow him on Twitter at @juhanihonkala.