Since the first Amstrads and Ataris, video games never really became outdated. I remember my first computer was an Amstrad 464 that ran on audio-tapes-looking disks (some games would take an hour to load). Fast forward to more contemporary times: after the Nintendo’s 4-bit portable device, the Playstation revolution, the Nintendo’s movement-based entertainment center, and of course the MMOG frenzy, we have reached a point where we can say with confidence that humans love to play with machines.
Last Thursday, a new SF-based startup, Heyzap, launched a new video games-related service. Heyzap simply provides a wide library of video games for Website publishers to embed in their sites.
The team explains that embedding video games follows the same logic as embedding videos in a page: It offers a fuller experience, and it has the virtue to retain visitors longer – a good tool when looking to increase visitors’ engagement. Any developper can submit its homemade video games to Heyzap for review and potential distribution.
While the game loads, a video ad plays for 10/15 seconds. The ad revenues get split up, with the biggest share going to the game developer, and the rest going to Heyzap and to the ad network.
Heyzap is fairly simple today, a no-brainer embed’n’play model. During the interview, we talked a lot about social gaming. Games became a major enhancer of our online interaction. Pioneering Facebook apps perfectly illustrated this new trend. Connecting social graphs is on the startup’s roadmap. As of today, Heyzap’s main challenge is to build a wide widget-distributed network in the long tail. Offering a richer social experience will probably help.
Heyzap received seed-funding from Y Combinator.