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Antstream - It's Netflix for Games!

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33 minutes ago, RYAN WHITELAW said:

So is this a scam then?

 

How can this be legal?

 

Not a scam at all - it's the result of more than 4 years worth of negotiation and deals with various rights holders. 

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Firstly, good luck with the Kickstarter despite what I'm going to say next.

 

Quote

Why Kickstarter?

 


As we are getting closer to our launch date, we felt that a crowdfunding campaign was a good way for us to do a number of things: 

We will learn from our prospective audience ahead of launch. This will allow us to serve them better, for example by installing servers in the regions where demand will be highest. 
We will start engaging with the fans about the games that will be available. We want the service to be built as a community space, and a crowdfunding campaign seems like a great way to start the conversation. 
We have many fans who have been supportive of our project over the years, this is also a way for us to offer them an opportunity to get their Antstream subscription at a much lower price point from the offering we will have at launch of $10 per month. 
 We hope this will help to spread the word about Antstream far and wide.  
The funds collected will all go towards development of the platform, as well as adding more games and features. If the Kickstarter campaign does not reach its goal, it will not change our release schedule in any significant way. However, it might mean we will prioritise development differently.

 

 

Again, though, this absolutely 100% isn't what Kickstarter is meant to be used for. Essentially what you've launched is a PR campaign. I'm in a bind here, because I kinda want to pledge for an annual subscription as I'd love to use the service for what is a very cheap price for a year compared to the standard subscription of $10 a month, but I'm finding it very hard indeed to get past the fact that you shouldn't be using Kickstarter for this!

 

 

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9 minutes ago, JPickford said:

How do devs get paid out of a lifetime sub?

 

Good question. I don't have the specifics (I had very little to do with planning the actual Kickstarter) - but I will find out. I imagine there's only one way it could be done, which would be to treat it as a fixed-term, and if the user is still active on the service after the term ends, we cover their dev payments. I don't know for sure but I can't imagine how else it would be done. We also have a bunch of subs we've given away free to competition winners and the like, and I imagine that works in the same way. 

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4 minutes ago, Eighthours said:

Firstly, good luck with the Kickstarter despite what I'm going to say next.

 

 

Again, though, this absolutely 100% isn't what Kickstarter is meant to be used for. Essentially what you've launched is a PR campaign. I'm in a bind here, because I kinda want to pledge for an annual subscription as I'd love to use the service for what is a very cheap price for a year compared to the standard subscription of $10 a month, but I'm finding it very hard indeed to get past the fact that you shouldn't be using Kickstarter for this!

 

 

 

Well, it's up to you mate, I won't try and persuade you to go against your own moral judgement. But all I will say is, people use Kickstarter for all sorts of reasons - yes , we will launch regardless of whether or not we hit our target. But if we DO hit our target, then the money absolutely will be used to make the service bigger and better (for example, licensing more games, where the licence holders are asking for up-front fees). We aren't spending this money on advertising or staff wages, for example (that's all covered already). 

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1 hour ago, jon_cybernet said:

 

Not a scam at all - it's the result of more than 4 years worth of negotiation and deals with various rights holders. 

Ah, Nice. 

 

i wish all involved good luck. Might be tempted if the price is right. I take it there will be an app download on xbox?

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12 minutes ago, RYAN WHITELAW said:

Ah, Nice. 

 

i wish all involved good luck. Might be tempted if the price is right. I take it there will be an app download on xbox?

There certainly will be. 

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b1f5f9b4096c767f1111b6e16830982f_origina

 

Surely you'd be better doing the first and second the opposite way round. Why bother securing the rights if nobody wants it?

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1 minute ago, deKay said:

b1f5f9b4096c767f1111b6e16830982f_origina

 

Surely you'd be better doing the first and second the opposite way round. Why bother securing the rights if nobody wants it?

 

Well, there will be a way for people to suggest games they'd like to see that we haven't even licensed. 

In practice we put the voting idea in because some of the deals we are signing are for literally hundreds of retro games across many different platforms. We just be able to upload and set them all up on the system at the same time, so this lets people choose from games that are all definitely going to be available at some point, but there might be greater demand for some than others. 

 

 

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Reading through the thread, one of the best things about this is that the copyright holders get paid - That's obviously a good thing.  Then reading further, I see that the copyright holders are not necessarily who I thought they would be.  Do you know any specifics here, like, is @JPickford, Jon Ritman, Colin Swinbourne, Kevin Toms, Rafael Cecco, Andrew Braybrook, The Oliver Twins, and so on, are they getting royalties from these games? Or have the rights passed through so many hands now that some shell companies that bought a load of defunct IPs 20 years ago is getting the money?

 

 

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12 minutes ago, dumpster said:

Reading through the thread, one of the best things about this is that the copyright holders get paid - That's obviously a good thing.  Then reading further, I see that the copyright holders are not necessarily who I thought they would be.  Do you know any specifics here, like, is @JPickford, Jon Ritman, Colin Swinbourne, Kevin Toms, Rafael Cecco, Andrew Braybrook, The Oliver Twins, and so on, are they getting royalties from these games? Or have the rights passed through so many hands now that some shell companies that bought a load of defunct IPs 20 years ago is getting the money?

 

That's a really good question.  I don't know whether the original posts/promos were misleading, or if I completely misunderstood (probably!), but I thought it was going to be the "right" people getting paid, too: The people who created all of these amazing games for us back in the day.

 

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On 19/07/2018 at 15:20, Anne Summers said:

Yup, although we hope that the fact the creators will be getting paid, plus the fact we are adding a lot of bespoke content (challenges, achievements, online leaderboards etc) will get some of the hardcore crowd on board too. 

 

Maybe it wasn't just my imagination.  ;)

 

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28 minutes ago, dumpster said:

Who's going to be the first person to get a £10 charge on their broadband bill for going over their monthly usage allowance because they were playing Everyone's a Wally on Antstream? 

 

I'm going to put my neck out and say no-one.

 

Although your follow on that it's amusing the amount of data in a video versus the game file is indeed amusing.

 

I don't really understand why they're streaming these games, and not just putting a better front end on a multi-format emulator.

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2 minutes ago, Uncle Mike said:

 

 

I don't really understand why they're streaming these games, and not just putting a better front end on a multi-format emulator.

 

Indeed.  One frame of video is likely bigger than many of these  games in ROM form.   Local emulation would be just as quick (downloads so fast you wouldn't notice) and remove any lag issues as well as conserving bandwidth and allowing offline play.  

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I would hazard a guess that streaming the games makes it easier to launch the service on different platforms - you wouldn’t have to fart about porting and testing multiple emulators on every system you wanted the service on. Presumably, you’d only have to test the user interface and the controls. 

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Slightly easier I reckon.  I think there's an issue (might have been mentioned upthread) with streaming rights being available but download rights not.  Daftness.

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Also, I'd assume that the retro idea is just the start, and of course once it's up and running, they can stream more and more advanced stuff as the finances allow, until Google buys them, surely that's the endgame here.  

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That's what I think. Start with streaming games which are natively much lower resolution than even SD television, then build from there with an existing subscriber base of the tech proves itself. 

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2 hours ago, dumpster said:

1Gb data to stream an hour of SD video.

Everyone's a Wally = 48k of hardcore puzzling action.  

 

While it’ll be more that 48k obviously I’d imagine the simplicity of the visuals makes the compression ratio significantly higher than normal SD visuals for a TV show meaning  data transferred would be much much less that a Gb per hour.

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2 hours ago, TehStu said:

Yanks. We have horrible data caps.

Yep around the world there are many countries that still have capped internet. Don't BT do a 20Gb Fibre service still?

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9 hours ago, dumpster said:

Yep around the world there are many countries that still have capped internet. Don't BT do a 20Gb Fibre service still?

 

I don't think so. Which was why, when you asked about £10 charges, I said no. Dollars don't count!

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56 minutes ago, Uncle Mike said:

 

I don't think so. Which was why, when you asked about £10 charges, I said no. Dollars don't count!

BT have done loads of packages on BB and Fibre with usage allowances. They don't advertise any of these today on their website, but any customers who took one of these deals in the past will still be on it if they haven't renegotiated. 

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