Guitar Hero creator Charles Huang founded Green Throttle, a Santa Clara-based startup with $6 million in funding, to build out multiplayer Android gaming for the living room. Now, the company says it’s closing the door on that mission for now. It’s a mission shared by others including Ouya, BlueStacks and its GamePop, and Nvidia’s Shield, but now the space is a little less crowded. The question is, was Green Throttle a canary indicating the whole market’s unstable, or just or just part of the natural culling of a herd centered on a real, but limited opportunity?
Green Throttle worked by providing an Arena app in the Play Store and Amazon Appstore for Android, which worked with their Atlas Bluetooth controllers. It had created some games on its own, and partnered with third-party devs to provide an SDK that would let their software work with Arena, too. It’s a slightly different vision than that espoused by consoles like Ouya and GamePop, and Green Throttle had a more concentrated focus on multiplayer interaction, but it’s still not a confidence-inspiring development for anyone watching this space.
The closure involves the end of support and removal of Arena from the digital app stores where it appears. The app will still work with existing games tailored to Arena for those who already own it, and the Atlas controllers will work as normal, too. The controllers are compatible with any titles that support Bluetooth HID as well, and Green Throttle will continue to sell the controllers, too.
Green Throttle still seems like it will exist, as it says to watch for “the evolution” of the company. That could indicate that there’s been an acquisition of some kind, but it’s tough to say at this point. We’ve reached out to Green Throttle for more information, but for now, it’s hard to come up with a very positive spin.
Android gaming is something many are betting on, and Nvidia’s CEO was positively bubbly about the possibilities earlier today on an investor call. So far, though, no one company has managed to come up with the right formula to really get the ball rolling on consumer demand.