The curiously named Mobcrush is making moves as it attempts to turn into the Twitch of mobile gaming. Today the company announced that its iOS and Mac apps are now in open beta (Android and Windows devices will follow soon), in addition to two new hires, who come from the games teams at Apple and Google.
Greg Essig previously led the games section of the App Store before joining Mobcrush, while Koh Kim was formerly a member of the Google Play business development team for games. "Greg and I have always respected each other and believed in the engagement and reach of mobile," Kim said in a statement. They join a quickly-growing team that includes recently hired former Xbox strategist Eric Doty; back in May, Mobcrush announced $4.9 million in funding to help the new company expand.
Potential for big business
Mobile game streaming isn't an entirely new frontier. Companies like Kamcord already exist, while Twitch has dabbled in mobile as well. None have really caught on in a big way, however, and it looks like Mobcrush is attempting to differentiate itself through ease of use. The company describes itself as "the first one-click, multi-platform streaming solution that allows players to live stream gameplay sessions at the touch of a button" on mobile; the service doesn't require a PC or any other extra hardware to work. And it appears that there may be a market for the service — during the closed beta period, a stream of Boom Beach saw more than 114,000 views, including a high of 20,000 concurrently.
While mobile game streaming has yet to explode in popularity, it's clear why companies are testing the waters. Twitch has become a huge business, so much so that Amazon snapped up the company for close to $1 billion. Meanwhile, Google — which reportedly failed to acquire Twitch — is launching its own game streaming service in the form of YouTube Gaming, an offshoot of the world's biggest video site. Combine that with the massive popularity of mobile games like Hearthstone and Clash of Clans, and you have the potential for big business.