Curse has launched its open beta test for its Curse Voice service, which offers a Skype-like platform for online gamers. Less than a week after launching, the service has more than a million users. If it continues to grow at its current rate, Curse anticipates the service will hit 10 million active users by year’s end.
The Curse service offers voice-over-Internet protocol (VOIP) that can be embedded inside online games. When you have the Curse client open, you can simply click on a link. Curse will integrate the service into several major game titles, said Hubert Thieblot, Curse’s chief executive, in an interview with GamesBeat. The popularity of the beta shows that gamers are hungry for new voice technology.
“Our target for this is PC gamers all over the world,” Thieblot said. “Any serious PC gamers online can check us out.”
The Curse Voice app is a proprietary, free-to-use software program that works well with League of Legends, for instance. The software can automatically detect users of the same group and prompt them to connect to a voice chat session. It also has an extra layer of security. Other voice clients require users to share specific account credentials with other players. That can be cumbersome on a match-by-match basis, and it opens users up to security risks by making their Internet protocol addresses available. Curse Voice makes connecting more convenient and risk free.
The program automatically identifies teammates who are using the software and enables them to enter a voice session with the click of a button without ever revealing personally identifiable information.
“We addressed frustrations that we had with the market,” Thieblot said. “We felt like the gaming VOIP market hadn’t evolved for years.”
Curse built the VOIP client over the past year because it felt like voice communication in games had stopped evolving. The whole company has 120 people, but the voice app was built by five people.
“We’ve always been about creating and supporting communities and allowing people to share information together in a way that makes their game more enjoyable,” said Thieblot. “For competitive games and competitive gamers, we believe that Curse Voice was the missing piece of the communication puzzle that will do just that.”