GRABTHEGAMES: In an exclusive interview with The Fly, GrabTheGames founder and owner Rafal Kokosza discussed the company's video game "Himno," early access games, PC storefronts, and more. In describing the nature of the company itself, Kokosza said that it started as a "deal sharing" website, doing giveaways, "reviewing" games and sharing other games deals, which "finally segued into publishing video games themselves. "Right now publishing is our nucleus, it's what pays our bills," he said. "Currently we are working on evolving an automated tool that will allow a user to compare video game prices from multiple stores. This will give us yet another dimension of content to keep our followers informed about the best video games deals available. Our current users love deals and so do we! "
'HIMNO': GrabTheGames released 2D platformer "Himno" earlier this year for PC and Nintendo Switch (NTDOY). The game has mostly "very positive" reviews on PC storefront Steam, where it is available for free download. When asked how the company feels about how the game has been received, Kokosza said GrabTheGames is "very happy" with the release. "Actually we are getting close to the 400,000 downloads mark," the GTG founder told The Fly. "The idea was to prepare the ground work for The Silent Melody, another game in Himno universe, which is going to be a much bigger game. The developer of this game is now working on few other ambitious titles at the same time including Little Dungeon Stories and Medieval Shopkeeper Simulator. So keep and eye out for those."
EARLY ACCESS: "Fantasy Blacksmith," another PC game published by GrabTheGames, is currently in Early Access on Steam, meaning customers can purchase an earlier, unfinished version of the game before the final products officially releases. On the topic of whether the Early Access model is sustainable for most games, Kokosza said that it is a "great tool" for the company, since it helps new developers build their following, fix bugs, and test features that might have just been "early whiteboard concepts." "Our developers seem to really enjoy the feedback from players who are actually playing the game," he said. "Additionally, it's always good to see money coming in for a new developer. Early Access seems to great for all ambitious titles not necessarily big Indie games. Another great example is our other game Exoplanet: First Contact which is constantly being evolved for longer time now."
PC STOREFRONTS: The video game world has seen an increase in the number of PC game storefronts recently, as over the past year Epic Games has launched a store for PC games, and Take-Two's (TTWO) Rockstar Games just released its own PC game launcher. When asked whether more storefronts serves as a positive for GrabTheGames, Rafal told The Fly that most of the new storefronts "only survive a few years," adding that he is "definitely open" to new stores and is receiving new inquiries "daily" for relationships. Investors in Epic include Tencent (TCEHY), Disney (DIS), and KKR (KKR).
STREAMING/SUBSCRIPTIONS: Two of the biggest recent developments in the video game world in terms of distribution are the rise of monthly subscription platforms like Apple Arcade (AAPL) and Xbox Game Pass (MSFT) and the upcoming launch of streaming services like Google Stadia (GOOG). When asked how he feels about these developments, Kokosza said that the game market is "pure evolution." "This is also true for development and publishing," he continued. "There is always something new and it seems new niche games are being created every single day. As long as new games are created there will be a need for publishing. Our position is anything that helps put our games in front of Gamers is not a bad thing and we will just have to adapt. There will always be a place at the table for new businesses to plant their flag. How long they stay is up to them."
"Game On" is The Fly's weekly recap of the stories powering up or beating down video game stocks.
Keywords: video games, game on, epic store, stadia, apple arcade, game pass, himno