Shalom Life | August 02, 2015

Israeli Startup Leading the Next Evolution in Videogames

Playcast is one of the leaders in gaming industry's shift to cloud based gaming

By: Tiffany Stelman

Published: May 21st, 2012 in Business » Israel

Israeli Startup Leading the Next Evolution in Videogames

In 2010, consumers in the United States alone spent approximately $15.5 billion dollars on games content. This number might seem staggering, and yet it is in sharp decline.

This decline is due in part to the shift in our general approach to entertainment content. When it comes to movies, for example, we’ve turned to Youtube, or video-on-demand, instead of purchasing a DVD. Yet game consoles like the Xbox or Playstation still force us to buy games.

Leading the way towards a significant shift in the gaming industry is Israeli company Playcast. The company’s technology enables cable and satellite television companies to offer the latest games without the need to buy an expensive console or the games themselves, much like your video-on-demand service. The games almost equal the quality of console games, but only require registering for the service and a remote. This new technology is known as “cloud gaming.”

Elad Dror, VP Solutions at Playcast, tells NoCamels: ”As in a VOD channel, all users do is subscribe to the Playcast service for a monthly fee and choose the package that is most relevant to their tastes and gaming.”

Earlier this year Playcast signed an agreement with French carrier Bouygues Telecom SA for its Bbox IPTV subscribers, who will pay monthly subscription fees to use any of the latest games. Playcast also has similar agreements with Portugal Telecom SA and Singapore Telecommunications Ltd.

The games are located on a designated channel where Playcast’s portal operates, which offers different game packages, updated every month.

“Cloud gaming not replacing consoles”

Dror tells NoCamels that ”cloud gaming is not here to replace consoles, but is a necessary step in the evolution of video games.”

The company’s employees, he says, “are first and foremost game lovers who respect the place of game consoles and see them as part of the world of gaming.”

Dror said it wasn’t easy to overcome the challenge of streaming the games instantaneously. While streaming video content is like a one way traffic, video games require real-time two-way traffic. “This means that video data needs to flow back and forth at zero delay,” Dror says.

But Guy de Beer, CEO of Playcast, said that while video processing experts might notice a slight reduction in quality compared to consoles, regular users will not.

Playcast is currently working on creating a more seamless interaction between gaming and social networking. Dror says this can mean finding your friends and inviting them to multi-player sessions, uploading brag clips to YouTube, etc.

Conquering the home market

The privately-held company is based in Israel and has operations in seven Western European markets, as well as Singapore, Korea, China, Brazil and the US. According to Dror, it enjoys a steady stream of revenue from its deployments in Europe and Asia. “However, since Playcast is still in the expansion stage – both in terms of R&D and commercially,” he adds, “we are moving on to new territories raising additional funds.”

Playcast, founded in 2007, has one more gaming country it wants to conquer: Israel. “We expect the service to launch in our home market towards the end of this year or in early 2013,” Dror says.

Playcast has so far raised $12.7 million. Investors include Jerusalem Venture Parners and Xenia Venture Capital. The company has 40 employees located in Caesarea, Israel.

This article is reprinted with permission from NoCamels.

EXCLUSIVE: JSwipe Founder Opens Up About JDate Lawsuit EXCLUSIVE: JSwipe Founder Opens Up About JDate Lawsuit TrendingThe Canadian Army is Acquiring Israel's Iron Dome Technology The Canadian Army is Acquiring Israel's Iron Dome Technology TrendingTel Aviv Professor Says Newly Discovered Earth-Like Planet is too Far Away to Understand Tel Aviv Professor Says Newly Discovered Earth-Like Planet is too Far Away to Understand Trending
 

Anti-Violence Rallies Taking Place Across Israel Today

August 01, 2015 | By Noam 'Dabul' Dvir, Roi Yanovsky, Ahiya Raved, and Gilad Morag
Anti-Violence Rallies Taking Place Across Israel Today

Following two blood-soaked days, in which a Palestinian infant was killed and his parents and sibling were critically wounded in a fire and six people were hurt in a stabbing at Jerusalem's gay pride parade, thousands are expected to protest in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, and Haifa

Read More

Report: 53% Rise in Anti-Semitic Incidents in the UK

August 01, 2015 | By B. Shane Morganstein
Report: 53% Rise in Anti-Semitic Incidents in the UK

Government officials are speaking out against anti-Semitism after new report finds rapid increase in anti-Semitic incidents

Read More

Film to be Made about Jonathan Pollard

August 01, 2015 | By B. Shane Morganstein
Film to be Made about Jonathan Pollard

The American jailed for passing sensitive information to Israel will have his story adapted for the big screen

Read More

Over 100 Jewish Gravestones Toppled in Philadelphia

August 01, 2015 | By Maria Cruz
Over 100 Jewish Gravestones Toppled in Philadelphia

Some of the headstones date back 160 years

Read More

Woody Allen Speaks Out About Netanyahu

August 01, 2015 | By Maria Cruz
Woody Allen Speaks Out About Netanyahu

The director thinks the Prime Minister's decision on Iran deal could be "foolish"

Read More

WATCH: Jon Stewart Addresses Uproar over his "Secret" Meeting with President Obama

July 30, 2015 | By Daina Goldfinger
WATCH: Jon Stewart Addresses Uproar over his "Secret" Meeting with President Obama

"Something is not a secret just because you don't know about it"

Read More

Canadian Couple: Killing Young Jews Will Save Them from Hell

July 30, 2015 | By B. Shane Morganstein
Canadian Couple: Killing Young Jews Will Save Them from Hell

The couple, convicted of trying to bomb the British Columbia Legislature, hoped to save Jews from growing up and going to "eternal hell"

Read More

WATCH: Viral Video of Israeli Father Shaving his Beard for First Time in 14 Years

July 30, 2015 | By B. Shane Morganstein
WATCH: Viral Video of Israeli Father Shaving his Beard for First Time in 14 Years

People are going crazy for this family's reaction to a man named Mooki shaving his beard

Read More

More Headlines