Video games have always captured the minds and imaginations of multiple generations. I remember my first time playing (then cracking) Castle Wolfenstein, Alpine Encounter and Aztec – all a huge step up from the original game I played – Oregon Trail! These days I’ll find myself playing Minecraft pocket edition with my daughter and xbox one games which are amazing. What has been so intriguing about all of this is the way in which we learn and improve our game play is no different than it was years ago – we learn by watching others in the community. (Then side-by-side but now online!)
The mobile game sector has been growing globally at a fast clip. Various industry reports cite more than one billion mobile gamers worldwide. And this year alone more than half the U.S. population is expected to join the fold. If that were not enough, these numbers are even more staggering when you look across the Asian market. So when we met the Mobcrush team, whose mission is to connect the world’s billion mobile gamers, we jumped at the opportunity to bring them into the KPCB family.
Royce (CEO) and his co-founders, James, Travis, and Stephen, started Mobcrush nearly a year ago. Being gamers themselves they understood firsthand the pain mobile gamers felt. There was no easy way for the community to stream their gameplay. While solutions have existed for pc and console games, mobile gamers have resorted to a laborious process involving dozens of steps and a combination of software + hardware. Having a deep background in the streaming space, Royce and his co-founders quickly assembled a team around them to make this simple.
As the team released their app in openbeta in July, the mobile game community took notice. Passionate gamers ranging from bnatesgamer, TouchArcade, Para_digm and iChase are now active streamers on Mobcrush.
Mobcrush has even seen enthusiasm from eSports players, another fast growing category which is estimated to reach more than 200M viewers this year alone. In March a group of Hearthstone players streamed a daylong tournament using Mobcrush and unknowingly made history – it was the first mobile eSports that was live streamed from mobile devices. The event was so successful that the team even managed to recruit one of the top ranked Hearthstone players, Andrew Wang (aka SnipedAgain), onto the Mobcrush team post tournament.
And they have not stopped there, staying true to their roots, the Mobcrush team has continued to recruit an all-star team. Eric Doty, formerly xBox community lead, joined the team to help nurture and grow the Mobcrush community. Executives Koh Kim, formerly Google Play games lead, and Greg Essig, formerly at Funplus and app store games lead, have joined as co-heads of business development to forge deeper partnerships with game publishers. And they’re continuing to hire engineers who are passionate about mobile games.
While there’s a long road ahead for the Mobcrush team, we’re delighted to partner with them to build a thriving community for mobile gamers.