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Just in time for this week’s online Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3), Binge is revealing that it plans to create an on-demand streamed video content platform with original series and shows inspired by the most popular video game worlds and content creators. The company is based in Toronto and has about 60 people.
Binge will be available to stream for free on any Internet-connected device when it launches in 2022. It plans to focus on high-quality, premium entertainment content for gamers — and do it in a way that respects the fans and the games that inspire them. Too often, mainstream media makes fun of games or those that play them, and gamers have largely stopped watching these kinds of media that don’t focus on games in an authentic way.
“Binge is a new immersive, on-demand streaming platform,” said Cody Hackman, chief strategy officer and cofounder of Binge, in an interview with GamesBeat. “It’s created for the gaming universe. We have exclusive shows, we got curated premium channels, and we have original live-action series.”
That sounds like a big investment, and one that has to be done in partnership with the game companies. Other rivals are catching on to the fact that gamers are both viewers and players. The competition includes Venn and G4.
Founded by a team of experienced content production veterans united by a passion for games, Binge said it will take a collaborative and fan-centric approach to content. It has signed partners and development deals with popular content creators, game publishers, and studios to produce premium original series across retro, indie and blockbuster titles. From cult classics to the biggest hits, Binge said it will provide a premium platform for every story.
“There’s just not good enough content being made for this demographic,” Hackman said.
Binge will enable you to watch content with your friends together in Squad Parties while earning rewards just for watching series and shows on your TV, mobile, PC, Mac, Linux, or game consoles, Hackman said.
Another cofounder is chief content officer Allan Ungar, who directed the Uncharted fan film with Nathan Fillion starring as Nathan Drake. The film has more than 9.2 million views on YouTube.
That fan film was a kind of love letter for the gaming community, and it was also a way to show these kinds of adaptations had a place; it was about staying loyal to the IP and the DNA of that world, said Ungar in a statement. The support the film received shed light on the fact that real demand exists for this kind of content, he said.
“Allan has a great eye for great titles, whether if they’re like retro titles in the gaming universe, or if they’re the biggest blockbuster titles,” Hackman said. “Our goal is to do what he did with Uncharted. And that’s to keep true to the games because some of these games have amazing stories and things that fans really love. And so we want to please the gaming community, but at the same time, if you’re not a gamer, you can enjoy them too.”
Consumers can sign up to become a Binge Founding Member and receive the latest news, partner, and content updates. Binge has been working on its plans for about three years, but it hasn’t disclosed who its backers are yet.
“It takes a lot of money to do what we are doing,” Hackman said.
Hackman said that the content will be ad-supported and available to users for free. And he said the ads will be focused around gamers and so the ads are “something you’ll want to see.” And in contrast to some of the rivals, the network will not focus on livestreaming at all.
“Everything is preproduced premium content. So it’s either live-action shows, where we’re taking a famous video game and bringing it to life, or it’s short-form or full-length series,” Hackman said. “We’ve partnered with some of the world’s biggest content creators in the gaming universe. But it’s curated content.”
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