“Spotify For Games”

This biz idea keeps coming to my head: spotify for games. I’ll briefly explain what spotify is for those of you who aren’t familiar with the service. Basically, with spotify, you can listen to music for free (with some ads here and there) or you can buy monthly subscription for $9.99 (or so) and listen to all the music without ads. There’s tons of music available – possibly everything you can imagine.

Now, I was thinking this same concept for games. We could start with indie games if you wish. Bit like WoW except you get to play tons of games.

Basically, for a monthly subscription (let’s say $9.99) you can play any games you want as long as you keep subscribing to the service. It might be possible to have a lite version which would show ads here and there until you get so annoyed that you want to (1) stop playing or (2) buy the subscription (or (3) more likely: find a hack)

The revenue share could go so that major part of the pie would go to developers (let’s say 70%), rest of it would be split between publisher (10-30%) and perhaps with affiliates (20%). These figures are just in top of my head.

How would developers share the pool of money? I’m thinking that the playing times (and/or downloads) could be tracked. The more downloads/playing time one game gets, the more money that game earns.

Just thinking out loud.

What you feel about this? Part 2 – “spotify for indie games” continues here.

Juuso Hietalahti


  1. This reminds me of streaming system of Guild Wars.

    You can download small package (~30MB when I first tried it) containing first few areas of game, models of basic gear and tutorial.

    As you play the game downloads rest of the game without taking all of your bandwidth. The system prioritizes downloading possible next areas and models you might encounter and it works pretty well.

    “Sportify” model could provide more similar opportunities on technical side.

  2. I like the Spotify business model, even though I think Spotify still need a lot of refining.
    At the moment an artist that gets played on Spotify earn $0.00043 per playing (Source: http://www.informationisbeautiful.net/2010/how-much-do-music-artists-earn-online/)…
    They ARE getting bigger companies to buy ads from them and such these days though, so there’s still hope that Spotify might become what it should be.

    Now for an indie developer, I can see several benefits of such a portal/app. And even earning $0.00043 per playing is better than nothing when you’re indie.
    The subscription model is taking over the world, so why not go that way with indie too? ;)

    Maybe add some possibility to give some direct support to your favorite developer too, like donating, buy the game for download, micromanagement, etc.

    I love the idea, and would most certainly join a team to make this happen ;)

  3. In France, there is the website metaboli.fr

    For 10 Euro per month, you’ve hundred of games like Avatar, Batman Arkham Asylum, STALKER, etc. But it’s not really indie games ^^

  4. Pogo.com has a similar model with a very small stable of high quality online games and crappier ones to try and entice you to be a subscriber. Works well for EA.

  5. Pogo.com has a similar model with a very small stable of high quality online games and crappier ones to try and entice you to be a subscriber. Works well for EA.

  6. Unlike the other mentioned sites, this seems to be directed towards indie games, which would be a boon to small developers everywhere. Barring certain qualifications, this has the makings of the next big game portal type.

    Sorta iphone Appstore/android marketplace like with a wider reach.

  7. Onlive is supposed to do this, but it’s US only I believe (right?)

    how about “spotify for indie games” :) (or “casual games” for that matter)

  8. http://www.playsega.co.uk does something similar with their games of old.

    Nevertheless, it’s something worth thinking about. Features like online scores, achievements, item trading or DLC would be nice there.

  9. We have something like this in Germany, for 14.99 Euro per month you can play all the games the service offers, and each month at least two new games are added. I dont like this service for me because I usually play games more than a month because I dont have much time, so this service would cost me more than buying the games. But for people with more time this could be a good idea

  10. Gametap has been around for a while with this model. Personally never used it, but there’s always room for improvement / refinement.

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