The cross-platform mobile software company BlueStacks may be rethinking its approach to living room-based mobile gaming with the GamePop and its distribution model, but it’s still signing up big-name partners. The company announced today at GDC that it will be bringing Ubisoft, Warner Bros. Interactive and GREE titles to GamePop, alongside its existing partners.
These developers and publishers represent a huge crop of highly popular mobile games, and that means BlueStacks will be able to offer them for free to subscribers on their GamePop platform. The company is still taking pre-orders for its micro console, but as I mentioned in my review of the same, it’s considering other options, too. The service works with any Android or Linux-based smart TV or connected console device, so it could easily license it out to hoteliers, in-flight entertainment providers and other places where there’s a B2B opportunity.
BlueStacks’ main strength isn’t in its hardware and interface design, but in its ability to sign on partners who will offer previously paid software to a Netflix-style consumption model for consumers. That’s probably due in part to the promise that there’s no engineering required on the part of partner devs: BlueStacks promises not even so much as an SDK required by its developers to get on board.
That’s one of the issues with the hardware I tested, which sometimes features controls that feel shoehorned or not properly translated from a touch experience. But the library might prove more important to cable providers and other potential partners who would presumably use the service as a value-add feature to attract and keep customers, rolling the service costs into overall subscription fees already being charged for access to Internet or cable to begin with.