When it comes to gaming these days, one of the bigger developments won't be found on any console, but rather in a more mobile arena with a nod to PCs. It's HTML5, and Softgames, a German gaming specialist, is looking to get into it in a big way, having completed its first funding round with a plan to take its Connect gaming platform on the road and make it accessible worldwide.
Softgames has developed over 1,500 titles since 2006, with 50 million downloads to its credit. Softgames Connect, meanwhile, boasts over 100 free-to-play titles, accessible by any device with the proper browser, including a PC.
While the total amount of the first round of investment wasn't released, it is known just who laid out cash to get in on Softgames' expansion project, including Software & Support Media as well as IBB Beteiligungsgesellschaft.
While Softgames would have likely put out the project with or without the backers, the extra backing allows them to accelerate their timetable and get Softgames Connect out to more users faster.
Softgames CEO Alexander Krug described the program's advantages, saying "Softgames Connect gives developers worldwide the tools to cover more market space with their HTML5 games and to monetize them successfully."
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HTML5 has a lot of potential in terms of altering the landscapes of several different markets – not least of which are the mobile app markets – and, in turn, the mobile gaming market. Gaming is looking to get out of the app store, spread onto the Web and make its presence truly known. This, in turn, is going to do some very interesting things to the market. Portable gaming devices are going to have to up their game significantly to keep ahead of the long list of good quality titles coming out of indie studios. Stuff like The Last Stand series and plenty of others are going to make a very big case for themselves on smartphones and other portable devices.
But if portable gaming devices can offer better, richer experiences, they'll carve themselves a niche market that will likely never be topped by smartphone gaming.
The casual gamer market, meanwhile, will likely never have so many choices, and fracture under the strain by going where "the best games" are – a measure that will surely prove highly subjective, but also contribute to frequent intermingling of users.
The near future will be one to watch for the gaming market indeed, and as more players get in, shakedowns are likely to occur with some firms exiting the market and some firms growing, depending on what they have to offer.
Will Softgames be among the survivors? Plenty of investors are betting that they will.
Edited by Braden Becker