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Hatching a new era for premium games on mobile

I have never blogged before but now I feel it’s the perfect time to start. Together with three of my colleagues from Rovio Entertainment, we took on a mission to change the way people play and started an amazing journey to create Hatch, a revolutionary social game streaming service for mobile. The work behind Hatch started already back in 2015, but exactly a year ago we started to reach out to prospective partners to make our vision a reality.

The unique technology behind Hatch allows people to play games over streaming from the cloud and – even more interestingly – it makes every game a shared social experience. Hatch will bring people together over the games they love in ways never experienced before on mobile. On Hatch every game can be played together which is something, we believe, that makes playing games a better experience.

The success of Hatch, however, will eventually be defined by our ability to offer a rich variety of games that excite people and retain them as active users of the service. As they say, content is king. My responsibility in the venture is building such a winning games collection for Hatch.

Fun to play

Understanding the importance of great content was a humbling experience. I knew that our tech team is a bunch of superstars who would come up with an unparalleled platform for streaming games in real time with truly unique social features. However, it wouldn’t matter without an amazing roster of games that would drive the consumer appeal and delight. To reach this goal, we agreed on the cornerstones of the Hatch content strategy:

  1. Content is king. Hatch offers a strongly curated, fun-to-play premium game collection with a wide variety of content for different tastes – and there are no in-app-purchases. Great content is a key element of the Hatch consumer value proposition.
  2. Hatch partners with the best game studios in the world, ranging from established gaming legends to beloved indies.
  3. New content needs to be added continuously. This ensures consumer delight and drives retention.
  4. Exclusive games, Hatch Originals, act as an important differentiator, driving consumer interest and virality with the unique social multiplayer features available exclusively on Hatch.

Guided by these principles, my team and I have spent the last 12 months globetrotting to find the best games for Hatch. And, boy, what an experience it has been! Firstly, the reception in the industry has been massively positive. The notion of someone “finally creating the Netflix of games” has been warmly welcomed. Our vision of introducing an alternative model for monetizing premium games on mobile is something that game studios around the world relate to – a similar revolution that streaming technology brought to music and movies is clearly seen as a logical evolution with games.

Industry support

Secondly, it has been awesome to see how the world’s leading game developers and publishers have been able to see Hatch as a strategic, long-term business opportunity. Even though we did not yet have a fully working product and had zero users, we were able to sign up some 40 content partners by the time of our public announcement in the end of November at the Slush conference. Our launch partners for Hatch range from established gaming legends such as BANDAI NAMCO, TAITO and Ubisoft to beloved indies like ustwo and Double Fine Productions. And today while writing this blog, we have over 50 partners on board and over 90 amazing titles signed up for the launch!

Thirdly, it’s been an unbelievable experience to spend the last year having discussions with hundreds of the gaming industry veterans and individuals truly passionate about great games. Naturally not everyone has wanted to come on board but, nevertheless, we have only received positive feedback and encouragement for our endeavor. GDC (San Francisco), Nordic Game (Malmö), GameLab (Barcelona), Casual Connect (San Francisco), Gamescom (Cologne), PGC (Helsinki&London), Game Connection (Paris), MGF (Seattle&London)… Spending the countless days (and nights!) at these amazing events has left me with a feeling that the entire industry wants Hatch to succeed.

A good start

We are now about to start the first phase of the external beta testing for Hatch. I feel proud to be able to offer an amazing games collection to our users to enjoy on demand and start having fun with games in ways they have never experienced before. A huge thanks to all our partners who believe in our vision and make this groundbreaking moment possible!

But we are only getting started. We continue to strengthen our games collection and will keep bringing new titles in continuously – games made with passion that are beautifully designed and full of intrigue and personality. Interested? Then come and join us, and let’s change the game together.