San Francisco based GameCrush is part happy hour at the local bar, part old school “900 chat line.” Users come to the site to play games with others, and there’s a video/audio cam. The only hitch is that you have to pay $.60/minute to do so. The site matches “Players” with “Playdates,” and splits that $.60 with the playdate. There are a number of Flash based games on the site, or players can use the GameCrush video while playing XBox Live or games on any other platform. A picture of two actual Playdates is below (Amber Cyr on the left, Gina Tran on the right).
Usually, guys are paying women to play with them. But guys play with guys, girl play with girls, and sometimes girls pay to play with guys, says co-founder Eric Strasser. And despite the fact that the site is in a strict invite only beta, the money is rolling in. More than one player has spent over $10,000, says Strasser. And some playdates have made over $2,000 in the short time the beta has been live. Playdates can also get extra money from tips and virtual goods.
The company was self funded at launch but has now raised a $700,000 angel round. Investors include Zivity founders Scott and Cyan Banister, Anthem Venture Partners, Crosscut Ventures, Paige Craig and Christina Brodbeck.
The service will launch publicly in the next month or so.