In doing so, the company is taking cloud gaming to the masses in a way that its rivals Gaikai and OnLive haven’t done.
Seattle-based Big Fish Games bills itself as the world’s largest producer of casual games. Its roots are as a maker of downloadable games on websites that primarily target older female gamers, who embrace titles that don’t involve guns and violence. It has published more than 3,000 games produced by its own developers and third-party gamemakers.
The company has been adapting to the growth of mobile gaming by launching a series of mobile titles, adapted from its casual web fare. But last year, the company also made a bold move by launching a cloud-based service, where games are stored and executed on web-connected data centers rather than on a player’s computer. The games are streamed to a user’s machine, which doesn’t have to process or store the game data.
That allows those games to be played on any device, and Big Fish Games is reaping the rewards of that investment today by launching its cloud service across all four major screens: PCs, smart TVs, tablets, and mobile phones. Big Fish Games is making the app for its cloud service available on the Google Play store today, and it is also releasing it on the Roku 3 set-top box, which will take the content to the television screen.
Customers can instantly play the entire Big Fish Instant Games catalog of more than 200 games. The idea is to give users maximum flexibility in where and how people want to play. The Big Fish Instant Games platform will come to more platforms throughout the year. Game progress is stored in the cloud, allowing players to play on one device and then log into the same game from another device.
Big Fish Games launched the service on the iPad last year. Since that launch, users have logged more than 200 years of gameplay from over 5 million game sessions.
“Adding Android smartphones and Roku to our supported devices has substantially increased the audience of users who can instantly play and enjoy games from Big Fish,” said Jina Heverley, the vice president and general manager of PC, Mac, and Cloud for Big Fish. “Now
you can start a Big Fish game on your TV at home and pick it up later on the go on your smartphone without having to wait for the game to download.”
Big Fish charges $7.99 a month for subscriptions to the service. Big Fish also allows free access to a rotating catalog of games via an ad-supported service.