Outpost Games nets $6.2 million for games that are 'fun to watch'

Most games "aren't designed for the medium" of streaming; a new startup has bagged money to create games that are "fun to watch."

Streaming is huge; we all know that by now. And games that stream well can pick up huge audiences of players, too -- so much so that developers have begun trying to develop games that show as well as they play.

A new studio called Outpost Games intends to make that the focus of its operation, and has picked up $6.2 million from Benchmark Capital with the promise of games "designed to be as much fun to watch as they are to play," in the words of co-founder and creative director Wright Bagwell.

Bagwell was formerly creative director of Dead Space 2 and design director of FarmVille 2; he's joined by CEO and co-founder Sachin Pansuria, who worked on those two games as well, as lead gameplay engineer and principle software engineer, respectively.

In an email interview, Bagwell shared some interesting thoughts on what it means to make games for the streaming generation: "We are building games where the performances within the games will be far more compelling than the performances of broadcasters outside of the game."

The company will focus on creating games with a defined story structure, and also work to "expand the vocabulary of player-to-player interaction, to offer more than just raw competition or fighting" -- the goal being to create "a strong incentive for players to put on an interesting performance together."

The studio, however, is focusing on the PC market, because that's where the players and viewers are; "we need to build games that are very intuitive but still very challenging, so that anyone can figure out how the games are played and appreciate the skill and creativity of the players," Bagwell said.

While there are no concrete details about Outpost's first game, it will be "targeted at seasoned gamers" with aims to "attract larger and more diverse audiences due to the fact that the games are so easy and fun to watch."

"We want people to watch our games and think 'that was really fun to watch, and now I want to try being the star of the show,'" Bagwell said.

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