These days it seems like mobile gaming is entering a sort of golden age — developers are getting ambitious about the experiences they want to create, and hardware has grown powerful enough to help bring those lofty visions to life in your pocket.
And all the while, a YC-backed startup called Kamcord has been working to help players record and share video of their in-game exploits. The team has already accrued just north of $1.5 million of capital, and they announced today that Kamcord has locked down another $1 million in seed funding from Tencent and InnovationWorks (among others).
But with this latest infusion of capital comes a peculiar change in direction — according to co-founder and CEO Matt Zitzmann the team is working to flesh out its SDK with social features like profiles and commenting in the hopes of turning Kamcord.com into a destination for mobile gaming content.
“We’ve seen what Twitch.tv and Machinima have been able to do and we’ve gotten a lot of email from users who just want to see more video content,” Zitzmann pointed out. “So we’re building a solution that’s more of a one-stop shop and rolling it out later this week.”
It certainly seems like a weird shift for the small San Francisco startup to take at first glance, but Zitzmann says the 11-person team has been mulling the move for a while. In its current state, players of Kamcord-enabled games can share their content through the usual spate of social channels and email. This approach has been serving the team (not to mention developers antsy for userbase expansion) pretty well so far, and Zitzmann wants amp up engagement by giving players the ability to more easily see how their remote opponents are doing too.
In the year or so since Kamcord first popped up at a Y Combinator Demo Day, Zitzmann has liked to skirt around the topic of monetization. It’s a common refrain from some early stage startups — they’ll try to focus on solely on building and proving the value of their products and chug along on the backs of seed investors until they figure out how to make their own money. With its new social push, it’s not hard to see how Kamcord may be gunning for some new revenue streams. Zitzmann noted in our conversation that he wants to build up a community of players who watch this sort of content and “provide access to those eyeballs” — perhaps a subtle nod to future ad revenue or brand interactions.
Of course, Kamcord’s new trajectory as a destination for video content all depends on its ability to convince game developers to fold the recording feature into their works. Fortunately for the time, things still seem to be going well on that front — Kamcord in-game recording has been built into over 115 games, and users have recorded one billion game sessions since the startup launched last year. I suspect the team could blow up those figures in a huge way if they ever get around to pushing out an Android version of their dev tools, which Zitzmann says is still in the works.