Review Fix chats with Frank Meijer PR Manager for Utomik, who lets us know what’s special about the game streaming service and how it’ll change the way you game on your computer.
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Review Fix: How was Utomik formed?
Frank Meijer: The founders have been together for many many years already. They started out as developers, making their own games, but eventually moved into the cloud gaming scene by forming a company called Kalydo. This was essentially a business-to-business version of what Utomik is now. Where Gaikai and OnLive failed, Kalydo managed to find success with file streaming technology via the cloud. They saw they had a golden idea here that would be very much suited for gamers too, so that’s when they decided to start Utomik. The company as it is was founded late 2014, and Utomik has been in open beta since March 2016 with a plan to go out of beta before the end of the year.
Review Fix: How does it all work?
Meijer: Basically, you install our client and with your subscription you get access to our games library that’s growing weekly. At the moment we’re at 605 games, so there’s a lot to discover. We’re not a streaming service though, like a lot of people seem to think. When you want to play a game on Utomik you just hit the Play button and the client starts downloading a small part of the game to your own PC, just enough to get you started. While you’re playing the rest of the game will be downloaded in the background, so your play session will never be interrupted by lag, buffering or other kinds of nasty things. In a lot of cases you can start playing within a minute, but there are also bigger titles on our platform that need a little more time, but it’s always within reason. Through internal and external testing our tech can calculate how big each package needs to be, so based on your connection speed you get a smaller or bigger initial download before you can start playing. Utomik even works in countries that don’t offer the best internet connections, something we get a lot of happy responses to.
Review Fix: What makes it different from other streaming sites?
Meijer: Well, first thing is that we’re not a streaming service like I explained in the previous question ;). But a lot of it comes down to the way we handle discovery of games you never heard about, but that are definitely worth your time! We focus a looooot on getting our players the indie games that they might’ve missed because it’s so hard to know what’s really good on Steam. There are so many games that are high-quality, but just completely get buried under the number of new releases. We try to uncover these gems and give them the attention they deserve. We hear a lot from our players that they come across indie games that they absolutely love, but that they just never heard about before.
Another thing is undeniable: We offer the best value for money subscription. With Utomik you get a weekly growing library for just $5.99 a month. We’re also the only one to offer a Family Plan, so up to four people can share one subscription for $9.99 a month.
Review Fix: How friendly has the indie game community been to you guys?
Meijer: Oh man, the indie community has been amazing! We’ve been getting a lot of support from the early stages of Utomik already, and that support has only been growing. In general the response is getting more and more positive towards the gaming subscription model. Or perhaps more towards how WE handle things ;). I hope they see how much we care about indie games, and that we want to see everybody achieve and surpass their goals. It’s really great to see that people are referring other developers to us. Some of us also help devs on their own accord, using our own network to get them in contact with publishers, journalists, and influencers. We give advice to everyone seeking it, whether or not they want to get their game on Utomik. We’ve also been exploring sponsoring cool events around the world. We sponsored Indigo in The Netherlands, and recently both the Indie Arena Booth at Gamescom and the Media Indie Exchange at PAX West. Wherever there are quality indie games, we want to be there and show our support!
Review Fix: What relationships with AAA publishers are you most proud of?
Meijer: I don’t want to pick just one, since they all add to make Utomik a varied platform in their own way, but what I’m proud of most is that the biggest publishers in the AAA scene have noticed us, and some have either already signed with us (announcements incoming soon), or that we are in talks with at the moment.
Review Fix: What’s next for Utomik?
Meijer: Ha, what isn’t next! We have so many things that we’re working on or planning to do. I like to keep some aces up our sleeve. Our main focus will always be to give subscribers great value for money, so we’re continuously talking to developers and getting more recently released games on Utomik. And they’re getting more and more open to it, as they see Utomik grow and see how we handle things. We’re not ‘suits’, we’re all people with an incredible passion for games and indie games in particular!
Review Fix: Anything else you’d like to add?
Meijer: I just want to take this opportunity and thank our awesome community of both players, developers and other partners! I’d also like to add that a bunch of us help developers with getting exposure, publishing deals or other things they need with or without them signing with Utomik. So if there’s any developers reading this, please reach out to us!