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Gaikai targets 10 million MAUs through affiliate scheme

Momentum continues with prototype hardware, 3D and Facebook integration, full game streaming, Euro retailers

Game streaming service Gaikai is looking to add 10 million monthly active users by this autumn through it's affiliates programme.

That's on top of the users it intends to attract for its retail partnerships - this week it confirmed a deal with Walmart in the US - and European equivalents are expected to be announced soon.

"Our first target is to get ten million monthly uniques that we can push these game experiences out to as a way to help the publishers and the online retailers address more audience," Nanea Reeves, chief strategy officer at Gaikai told in an interview published today.

If our business is to help all of the partners scale their business we have to be ready across multiple fronts

Nanea Revves, Gaikai

The media affiliate partners scheme includes sister site and The Escapist - although a deal with IGN is thought to have stalled since Christmas.

With the service up and running on media and retail websites, Gaikai is also looking at ways to help its publisher partners reach across multiple formats, as the service is able to stream to any device with a decent internet connection.

It's likely Gaikai will expand beyond just offering demos for games and evolve to full game streaming, with Reeves stating that: "The challenge is you get a customer that might be playing a game in their browser but they can't play the game on their Mac. In that case we've been approached – how do we support that customer, and can we transition them to an always on full game stream?"

And while games may not have been designed to work on TV, tablets or mobile devices, Gaikai is currently prototyping solutions that will help make games much more playable on alternative hardware.

"It's stuff we're already prototyping. We've got default iPad, iPhone controllers," Reeves revealed.

During E3 the firm said it expected to be serving games on web-enabled TVs next year - just behind rival OnLive which hopes to open up an addressable market of 75 million users by year end through a deal with Intel and others.

Although Gaikai won't require a custom chip built into TV units, it is also currently working on a control solution for big box gaming.

"With the TVs we will be shipping a controller with the TV as a separate accessory," said Reeves.

Earlier this month at E3 the company demoed games streaming to TV, using a basic remote to highlight the potential.

"We worked with the manufacturing company's engineers to get this working. It's just a proof of concept to see if it was really possible and so now we're starting to figure out how we continue to scale that," added Reeves.

"If our business is to help all of the partners scale their business we have to be ready across multiple fronts. And the nice thing about this solution is that it doesn't require any custom chip to be included in the device or separate unit. We're straight on the existing infrastructure."

Cutting out dedicated games hardware isn't the only solution that Gaikai is offering. Developers will be able to integrate an SDK to take advantage of additional features - one of which is to retrofit 3D to games that were never originally coded that way.

"The game wasn't made in 3D so we're facilitating that in the stream delivery."

"We just built out our network to support the more high end content, so we're just starting to ship those servers out," said Reeves, of 3D services that were first shown at CES this year.

And again not to be outdone by OnLive, Gaikai allows games to be embedded in social networking site Facebook.

"If you just think we can embed in any web page, that would include Facebook, so it's not a big deal. So OnLive is announcing that they're launching from Facebook so you know, we're actually embedded in there. We like those guys, they've done a great job, it's just a very different business model."

The full interview with Nanea Reeves can be read here.

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Matt Martin avatar
Matt Martin: Matt Martin joined GamesIndustry in 2006 and was made editor of the site in 2008. With over ten years experience in journalism, he has written for multiple trade, consumer, contract and business-to-business publications in the games, retail and technology sectors.
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