Wednesday, 7 March 2012

iSwifter Launches Platform Licensing Program at GDC to Make Mobile App Streaming Technology Available to All PC-Based Gaming Companies

Menlo Park, California-based iSwifter, yesterday announced open availability of a licensing program for its cloud-based streaming platform that enables Adobe Flash, and now, PC-based gaming applications, to be streamed to iOS and Android mobile devices, from low cost cloud-based servers anywhere in the world.

While the iSwifter cloud-based app streaming platform has always been able to stream Flash-based games, iSwifter is now offering the ability to stream PC-based games from the cloud to mobile devices, after having successfully licensed its platform to its first large scale PC-based gaming partner in 2011.

"What started as a specific pain point, i.e. streaming Flash applications to iOS, has quickly mushroomed into a broad platform for multiple application types streaming to multiple mobile platforms," says Rajat Gupta, co-Founder of iSwifter. "It is virtually impossible for developers to bring PC games to mobile as quickly as we can through our lowest cost streaming cloud service, and to provide a native-like user experience with automatic enablement of touch gestures."

“We are bridging the applications of the PC era with the devices of the mobile era,” he also said.

iSwifter, which first launched its product in Fall of 2010, started out streaming Flash-based Facebook social games to iPads. Since then, the company has added the capability to stream hardcore PC-based games and Java-based MMO games like RuneScape to mobile devices including Android tablets. In addition, the company has expanded coverage of its streaming cloud to multiple geographies across the world for licensees wishing to serve global audiences.

iSwifter takes advantage of the cloud, or web-connected data centers. It runs a game, such as a Flash-based Facebook game, in the cloud. Then it streams video of the games at high speeds to a mobile device like an iPad. The interaction over a broadband connection is fast enough so that the user doesn’t notice that the game isn’t actually stored or computed on the iPad. The service operates functionally much like Onlive’s or Gaikai’s cloud gaming services. iSwifter makes it possible to run the exact same PC Flash game on an iPad. Users can download iSwifter’s browsing app and play it free for 30 minutes; after that, it costs $4.99. The games run smoothly as if they were running in a native format.

While OnLive and Gaikai are using streaming to reproduce a high-end 3D graphics experience on lesser hardware, iSwifter isn’t going that far. It is taking games with medium-quality graphics and getting them to run on new devices.

PC game makers will be able to take games from their older library of games and, without much effort, get them running on an iPad. iSwifter has been able to adapt Blizzard Entertainment’s original StarCraft game. As such, iSwifter can make it easy for game publishers to find a new source of revenue from their older games by adapting them to new platforms where users are plentiful.

Most recently, iSwifter also announced Rover, an iPad app which is a cloud-based Flash browser for the education market, in partnership with Discovery Education. Rover is COPPA compliant and is free for use in educational institutions and supports CIPA filters and firewalls used in educational environments.

"We already have excellent licensee arrangements that are performing well in large scale PC-based game streaming environments today, and in Flash-based educational content and games," said Peter Relan, co-Founder and Chairman of iSwifter and the YouWeb incubator that spawned iSwifter in 2010. "It's nice to see OnLive recently follow us into the casual Flash gaming space, over one year after we pioneered our approach of streaming Flash and PC-based social and casual games to mobile devices. We remain confident in our technology leadership, and we invite more licensees to join us as we do to applications what Netflix did for movies."

“Now we’re ready to apply this technology in a broader way. We want to license it to PC makers who want their games streamed to iOS and Android mobile devices.”

Over time, iSwifter will be expanded so that it can handle multiple applications, not just games. It could do productivity apps, much like OnLive does with its Office-capable OnLive Desktop service. As iSwifter expands into other territory, it will compete head-on with OnLive, which has also moved into iSwifter’s market on the iPad.

“This can be expanded to bring rich interactive apps to any mobile devices,” Relan said. “It opens up a whole new world of business.”

Licensees can choose between an upfront license fee, or a revenue share-based model, or a flexible combination of both. To learn more about the iSwifter Platform Licensing Program, visit

SOURCE: VentureBeat.

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