Mobile-based streaming service Hatch, which was majority-owned by Angry Bird’s creator Rovio, was quietly closed at the end of 2020, Gamasutra has reported.
A banner on the service’s website states that Hatch ceased to be as of December 31st 2020, although no announcement was made by Hatch or Rovio to that end. And while Hatch is shuttered, its spin-off service Hatch Kids appears to be still running.
Hatch was designed to stream mobile games to mobile gamers, reducing friction of installs and providing premium content, without microtransactions, in a form that sidestepped the discovery issues of the main app stores. However it looks to have struggled in finding an audience. Rovio owned 80 per cent of the company.
As Gamasutra notes, the company did mention Hatch’s struggles back in February 2020. “The competition in game streaming has intensified during 2019 while 5G networks and devices rollout has been slower than expected. Due to the changes in the operating environment Hatch Entertainment decided to focus its strategy,” said Rovio CEO Kati Levoranta at the time.
Levoranta spoke to MCV/DEVELOP about Hatch back at GDC in 2019, and even then the hatch Kids idea seemed to stand out as a great option: “And then there is also the angle of kids, creating a specific kids channel and content where children can actually play very safely and parents know is in there and feel really confident in giving their phone to their kids.“
The curation of content and the single-app destination for kids using parent’s devices does still look to have potential. But it looks like we’ll have to wait until Rovio’s next results announcement, in February, before we get any more insight into the decisions.