Kamcord, a startup that offers game developers an SDK that lets users record and share clips of their gameplay, has achieved a few milestones in the last few months that illustrate the Y Combinator alum is gaining traction as the non-streaming equivalent of Twitch on mobile platforms.
The 23-person company says that mobile gamers on iOS and Android have shared 25 million clips of their gameplay from games utilizing their SDK. Those videos are being watched within the same games as they’re being shared from, within Kamcord’s standalone apps, and on Kamcord’s site, with the vast majority of views coming from users on iOS. Kamcord co-founder Adi Rathnam compared the company’s progress to Amazon-acquiree Twitch, noting that in the last 30 days, 1.3 million people have uploaded those videos, more than the million broadcasters Twitch bragged about in February.
To keep up its momentum, Kamcord has reworked its screen-recording SDK to support the Metal graphics framework, Apple’s new low-level toolkit for developers looking to squeeze the very best graphics out of the A7 and A8 chips used in Apple gadgets since last year’s iPhones and iPads.
Recording gameplay without adversely affecting graphics quality or frame rate is hard (ask anyone who tried to record gameplay on computers as powerful as today’s smartphones using FRAPS in the early/mid-2,000s), and Kamcord’s previous solution tapped into the OpenGL ES rendering pipeline in a way that was incompatible with Metal. Considering the fact that developer toolkits like Unreal Engine 4 and Unity are updating their rendering engines to utilize Metal on newer Apple devices, Rathnam told me that the team figured moving quickly to support the framework was a no-brainer.
On the business side of things, Kamcord’s successful partnerships with Japanese game developers (its featured games section sports several titles from Sega as well as Terra Battle, the latest game from Mistwalker, the game developer founded by the creator of the Final Fantasy series) has led the company to open its first overseas office in Japan. That could be key to Kamcord’s future growth — mobile dominates among Japanese gamers, and building tight relationships with the studios building hit games vastly increases the odds that they’ll take up tapping the share button in between bouts of Puzzle and Dragons and its ilk.