Doki Tops, founder and CEO of Utomik, said in an interview with GamesBeat that the company is focusing on “double-A” titles from independent game developers. The company wants to show that the subscription business model — akin to a Netflix for games — makes a lot of sense as an alternative to free-to-play titles or one-time purchases.
That compares to about 600 games in December 2017. Topps said the company has been successful in luring indie developers to its platform because it has a fair payout structure for developers. Eindhoven, Netherlands-based Utomik gives developers 70% of proceeds from subscriptions, and it keeps 30%.
“The biggest shift has been from older triple-A games like Borderlands and Batman to fresher content from indies,” said Tops. “Some of the titles are getting a million views for their trailers.”
Tops said that Utomik will have its first large-scale booth at Gamescom, the giant game fan show in Cologne, Germany, during the week of August 20 (I’ll be there at Devcom, moderating several panels). Utomik is supporting its developers in the Indie Arena, enabling small developers to fly in and attend the event from around the globe. More than 30 developers will be in the booth.
The company will have 10 day-one releases available for play at the Gamescom booth. Utomik charges $7 a month for individual subscribers and $10 a month for family subscriptions. Tops is not sharing the number of subscribers, but he said the number has grown 100% from a year ago.
Consumers can play games for an unlimited time with subscriptions.
“We have been refining our payout structure to better support independent developers,” said Tops. “We already had a democratic payout model where we look at what you play. We want to give out a minimum fee for certain games per user touching it, regardless of how long they play it, to ensure that subscription gaming is sustainable for developers.”
Tops said the 1,000th game is Neverinth by CreAct Games. In the past 12 months, Utomik has added 250 games. 12 of them launched on the first day they were available on other platforms, and another seven are confirmed to launch on day one in the second half of the year.
Tops said the platform drives the discovery of new games, genres, and favorites in the gaming community. Besides Neverinth, Utomik will also show LunaSea, Coffee Talk, Decay of Logos, Those Who Remain, Grand Guilds, Dry Drowning, Jack Axe, Figment: Creed Valley, and Elden: Path of the Forgotten.
As for upcoming competition from cloud gaming services such as Google Stadia, Tops said, “The attention for cloud gaming has been high but it has waned some. I think cloud gaming will be a distribution method which will have an increasing share over time. Microsoft is taking their time with Xbox cloud services. The urgency for the cloud is great, but the costs are still very real.
Utomik has 30 employees.