Rovio receives investment in its ‘Netflix for gaming’ subsidiary

Finland’s Rovio receives investment in its subsidiary Hatch Entertainment, bringing 5G gaming a step closer for Japanese consumers

An Angry Birds balloon at a Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City. Rovio has relied heavily on the game, which has been running for almost a decade

Rovio – best known for creating Angry Birds – has received a boost as it looks to diversify its business offering. On February 6, the Finnish company confirmed that it had received investment in its subsidiary, Hatch Entertainment, from Japan’s leading mobile operator NTT Docomo.

Hatch Entertainment will offer subscribers a rotating mix of games from a range of publishers

The move brings 5G gaming a step-closer for Japanese consumers. Set for a soft launch on Android in Japan later this month, Hatch Entertainment – self-proclaimed as the ‘Netflix of gaming’ – will offer subscribers a rotating mix of games from a range of publishers. New users will be afforded a free 90-day trial membership of Hatch Premium.

So far, the cloud gaming platform is available in the Nordics, the UK and Ireland for Android devices but not iPhones. At present, Apple does not allow streaming services on its app store. However, Rovio is eventually looking to bring the service to all platforms.

“Docomo’s leading contributions to 5G technology and infrastructure, and commitment to amazing new 5G-enabled services, make the company an ideal strategic partner in Japan,” said Juhani Honkala, founder and CEO of Hatch.  “We look forward to a long and fruitful collaboration.”

The size of the investment has not yet been disclosed, with the partnership simply being described as “strategic”. Gaming is an essential part of Japanese culture – the country represents the world’s third largest global gaming market – and many predict that cloud computing to be the next big thing in the industry. In particular, 5G technology is expected to enable gamers to stream AAA titles to their smartphones.

The launch of Hatch Entertainment should also help Rovio stimulate its floundering growth. Having relied heavily on Angry Birds up to this point, and with the gaming sector became ever more competitive, Rovio’s new forward-thinking strategy could slingshot the company to the next level.

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