2013, the year of the mobile game TV console, marches on with a new contender: GamePop. Created by mobile company BlueStacks, the GamePop console allows users to play mobile games on their TV using the included controller, iPhone or Android smartphone. The twist on other similar consoles like Ouya and GameStick is that GamePop uses a subscription model akin to Netflix. For $6.99 a month, users get access to the entire GamePop library, which currently sits at 500 games according to BlueStacks.
Those who pre-order the console this month will get it for free with a paid subscription to the service. BlueStacks tells Joystiq that there is no commitment or contract, with the only caveat being that customers must return the console if they cancel their service within one year. So, essentially, you're getting the console for 12 payments of $6.99, plus $10 shipping. We asked if users will still be able to access their downloaded games after canceling their service, but BlueStacks says that info is "TBD."
BlueStacks is touting big name developer support in the form of Halfbrick Studios (Jetpack Joyride, Fish Out of Water), Glu Mobile and others. BlueStacks will be sharing 50 percent of its subscription revenue with developers, "apportioned by usage," and developers will retain all revenue derived from in-app purchases.
GamePop is slated to launch this winter.
Mobile gaming comes to the living room via new product, service; several top developers on board
Palo Alto, CA May 9, 2013 – Mobile company BlueStacks today announced a new gaming console and subscription service called GamePop. The system includes a custom console and gaming controller free as part of the $6.99 per month service for May pre-orders only. This marks the first time a gaming console has been offered free with a subscription. The company recently passed 10 million users of its App Player software, which allows mobile games to be played on Mac or PC.
BlueStacks has also announced content deals today with several top game developers for the new platform, including Glu Mobile, Halfbrick, and OutFit7 - makers of the popular Talking Tom series.
"BlueStacks has credibility in the microconsole space that others just don't have," said Shainiel Deo, CEO of Halfbrick. "We've been a featured partner in App Player since early on and they've delivered on every promise in terms of distribution. GamePop is a great incremental channel for us."
Other Google app-makers with the coveted "Top Developer" badge coming on the platform include the #1 kids app-maker Intellijoy, as well as Deemedya, Chinese wunderkind Droidhen and many more yet to be announced. "Mobile gaming has been taking off the past few years. BlueStacks' vision is to bring that same experience to bigger screens," said BlueStacks CEO, Rosen Sharma. The all-you-can-eat pricing model for GamePop lets users enjoy a much broader range of games, just as you can watch more movies with Netflix versus the pay-as-you-go model Blockbuster employed."
"Mobile gamers continue to show higher levels of engagement and longer play sessions on larger form factors," said Glu CEO, Niccolo de Masi. "BlueStacks and GamePop offer developers like Glu an opportunity to potentially reach a new audience of gamers with great 3D, high-production value content. We see significant potential in BlueStacks' approach to the console gaming market." Developers keep all of the in-app purchases that run through their apps with GamePop - BlueStacks does not take any share. Additionally, 50% of GamePop subscription revenue will be shared back with developers, apportioned by usage.
BlueStacks plans to market GamePop subscriptions directly from GamePop.tv, which went live today. Their main site, BlueStacks.com the company announced for the first time today clocks 1.6 million unique visitors every month and growing. GamePop will also be featured on BlueStacks' Facebook page, where they maintain a community of 1.2 million fans.
BlueStacks was founded in 2009 to bring the energy and creativity of the mobile app world to every type of device. The company is funded with 15M from Intel, Andreessen-Horowitz, Radar Partners, Redpoint, Ignition Partners and Qualcomm. The company's App Player software has over 10 million users. Join their more than 1.2 million Facebook fans at Facebook.com/BlueStacksinc, or on Twitter at @BlueStacksinc