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Rovio quietly shutters game streaming service Hatch

Angry Birds-maker Rovio has seemingly shut down Hatch, a mobile-based game streaming service launched by Rovio subsidiary Hatch Entertainment in 2017.

Angry Birds-maker Rovio has shut down Hatch, a mobile-based game streaming service launched by Rovio subsidiary Hatch Entertainment in 2017.

The service was quietly closed down on December 31, 2020 according to a banner on its website thanking its users for their time with the service.

While the shuttering itself hasn't been heavily publicized, those keeping an eye on Rovio's Hatch-related dealings over the last few years shouldn't be surprised by the change.

Rovio, which owns around 80 percent of Hatch, hoped to reduce its ownership back in 2019 though those plans never fully materialized. Then and in months since, Hatch has consistently contributed to declining profits at Rovio despite a scattering of high profile partnerships with the likes of Samsung and Vodafone along the way.

According to a Rovio statement back in February 2020, "the competition in game streaming has intensified during 2019 while 5G networks and devices rollout has been slower than expected."

Following that unsuccessful bid to divest the company instead announced plans last year to restructure and refocus Hatch on its kid-centric offshoot Hatch Kids, which looks to still be up and running despite Hatch's closure.

Omdia senior analyst George Jijiashvili pins much of Hatch's demise on its struggle to resonate with players on mobile, though Hatch Kids seems to have navigated those waters with more success since its own launch.

"Hatch’s target demographic simply didn’t exist - this was its biggest downfall. Most of the games in its library were available to download from app stores, and the cloud gaming element did not appeal to the casual mobile gamers," explains Jijiashvili.

"Its family-friendly elements were perhaps most interesting - such as no in-app purchases, no ads and content curation. Therefore, it wasn’t surprising when Hatch leaned into this space by launching Hatch Kids early last year, at the height of the first wave of the pandemic. The focus on providing a ‘safe place’ for learning through educational games is an appealing proposition for parents, who are increasingly weary of potentially exposing their children to dubious games on the app stores. The success of Hatch Kids is far from guaranteed, but I think that its focused approach has much better chances."

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