Volcano Diver has launched VersusNow a game-streaming platform with skill-based games where you compete for real-world cash rewards.
Volcano Diver, based in Las Vegas, has launched a software development kit (SDK) for developers in a beta stage until the full release comes on January 26.
VersusNow offers gamers a way to showcase their skills in competitive play, competing for real-world cash rewards. With a lineup of 12 games, including new titles like 21 Solitaire, Bingo, Bubble Shooter, and more, players can engage in skill-based gameplay while vying for cash prizes based on their performance.
The platform aims to appeal to gamers of all skill levels, providing an avenue for even casual players to turn their expertise into cash rewards. VersusNow promises fast and seamless gameplay, fair matchmaking, and transparent match results.
The company siad the platform has a hack-proof environment, built on patented streaming technology, which ensures security across various platforms, including consoles, PC, home set-top and streaming boxes, and mobile devices.
Sean Lee, co-CEO of Volcano Diver, said, “VersusNow has been meticulously crafted to align with these profound values. We warmly welcome players to exhibit their skills, earn well-deserved rewards, and encourage developers to explore exciting avenues to ensure their titles flourish for years to come.”
VersusNow goes beyond traditional gaming platforms by introducing a unique ticketing system where players purchase tickets to participate in matches, creating an engaging and competitive environment. The platform also eliminates the need for game installations, allowing players to access and play games conveniently anytime, anywhere.
For developers, VersusNow offers an SDK that seamlessly integrates into multiplayer and single-player games across consoles, PC, mobile, and TV platforms through supported browsers. The SDK provides support for tournaments and leagues, player rating-driven matchmaking, enticing rewards, incentive programs, and efficient fund withdrawals in various currency types.
With an overarching goal of empowering developers and creating a sustainable model for monetization, VersusNow aims to contribute to the growth and success of the gaming industry.
Established in January 2023, Volcano Diver is a platform development company that brings together developers, artists, and entrepreneurs from leading companies to create a new form of entertainment platform. The company has 12 people, and it expects to raise a new round of funding, Lee said.
Big Choi Beom is the cofounder and co-CEO who has worked at Nimble Neuron, Fincon, Wemade, Blizzard, and NHN. Lee has worked at Fincon, NeoWiz, Philips, MGM Studio City and he was head of Apple’s App Store in South Korea.
In that role, Lee managed the country’s multi-billion dollar App Store business, strategically focusing on maximizing both app and game business performance on the platform. Under his leadership, the App Store for Korea saw a 2.3 times revenue increase over the 4.5 years.
Lee worked with Beom since 2012 on 3D turn-based role-playing games on mobile. They worked on that for maybe five years and then went their separate ways. Lee joined Apple to run the App Store in South Korea. Then, he teamed up with Beom again A couple of years ago, they set out to build a platform to stream games from the cloud, like Google Stadia. They saw why other platforms struggled and worked to create more efficient servers that could stream to many users at lower costs. They virtualized the graphics processing unit (GPU) to serve scores of users with one server to lower the costs of streaming.
Along the way, they saw that it was harder for mobile game developers to survive, thanks to difficult user acquisition as Apple focused more on user privacy over targeted ads.
Rather than focus on hardcore games, Volcano Diver focused on using the tech platform for streaming casual games. And the focused on skill-based games because of the strong monetization model, and they figured the cloud tech would enable them to verify who won each match more easily without cheating.
“The thing that really interested us about it was it was really easy for users to instantly play their games and not have to wait for installs,” Lee said. “We leverage the streaming and make it so gamers don’t waste their time waiting for games to install.”
They opened the service in December and the beta tech is now running. They’re working with PayPal and others to implement payment options. The company has 50 skill-based games, but it is opening with just 12 at the outset. The games like Bingo or solitaire can be played in three to four minutes. The service is available worldwide, but in the U.S. they’re focused on 29 states where the skill-based gaming is clearly legal. In some states, it is subject to regulation as it is classified as gambling. But most states don’t consider it gambling if there is skill involved in winning.
The company invites users in to play games and they buy tickets. They use a ticket to enter a game with the goal of winning prize money.
In addition to the cloud tech, the company also has a marketing advantage. Rather than advertise just a single game, they can advertise the platform and get people to come play multiple games, rather than just a single game.
“This drastically reduces the marketing costs,” Lee said.
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