While Microsoft's Xbox Game Pass likely appeals to players who want mainstream console titles, there hasn't been a great unlimited play platform for indie games -- until now. A new service, Jump, has just emerged from the ether to satisfy fans of non-tentpole gaming. For $10 a month, users can play any of the service's 60-plus game initial catalogue, with ten more coming each month for desktop and VR platforms. Jump's beta period is running from now til July 24th with a limited game selection, but once the full service launches this summer, anyone can sign up for a 14-day free trial.
And yes, you'll be able to play new games on-demand. Jump uses web-based technology that launches games from the platform's client, allowing them to run locally without fully installing by loading only the assets it needs on the fly. With a browsing window, curated collection and algorithms recommending titles to players based on taste, the comparisons to Netflix are inevitable.
Over 4000 games were released on Steam last year, representing 40 percent of the total games ever released on the digital marketplace. Those odds are harrowing for small-staffed indie game developers, so the promise of a highly-curated library might be enough to sway them into joining Jump, where players can sample games at will instead of balking at sticker prices.
Developers might even make more money than on Steam, as they'll get a clearly-defined cut of profits. Jump will take 70 percent of the net revenue of subscription income and divvy it up to developers based on the amount of time their game is played, the company's chief Anthony Palma told Gamasutra. That amounts to abut 25 to 50 cents per hour of play, per user.
And since the platform is leaning heavily on curation -- Palma insisted that only 10-12 games will be added per month at the start, despite the pressure and expectation that streaming services rapidly expand catalogues -- games won't be buried among a hundred other simultaneously-added titles. That means titles will be far more discoverable on Jump than Steam...and you'll finally be able to sample a service's whole range of games, not just the most popular that rise to the top.