One of the big new players set to make its official reveal at this year’s E3 is Binge: a gaming content streaming platform announced just this month. Binge is scheduled to debut in 2022, and will be free. Unlike the ill-fated Mixer and other live streaming platforms, Binge is not trying to compete with Twitch for the attention of gamers, but rather offer them something completely new: high quality scripted shows inspired by today’s biggest games.
As someone who works in both gaming and broadcast entertainment, I can’t help but be excited for Binge. I caught up with co-founder and CSO Cody Hackman ahead of Binge’s upcoming presentation at E3 2021 to chat about the bold new platform.
“Binge will be the one place for premium gaming content,” Hackman told me. “It will be the home for content built specifically for gaming communities.” The platform’s core promise – that its content “respects the fans and the games that inspire them” – resonates with me. Hollywood doesn’t have the best track record with movies based on games. In contrast, Netflix’s Castlevania and The Witcher series have been embraced by fans of the games, showing that show creators need to respect their source material if they want to succeed.
To support that vision of authenticity and respect, Binge has brought on Allan Ungar, the director of the 2018 Uncharted fan film, which was an incredible hit with fans of the game series. Ungar will serve as chief content officer.
The platform also innovates in other ways, by turning something that was a pandemic necessity into a core social feature for its service: the ability to watch shows together with friends… remotely. Their Squad Party mode will let people stream shows simultaneously with their friends, and will presumably include other social features to make for a better experience.
So, how do you monetize with this new model? Hackman told me Binge will use creatively produced pre-roll ads. Viewers will be able to purchase hours of ad-free viewing with an à la carte option that lets them simply watch their shows without commercial interruptions.
Platforms like Netflix focus more and more on local content, but gamers are a worldwide community, and their interests come from their shared experiences. Binge is a Canadian company based in Toronto, and I was glad to find out that their reach will extend beyond our horizons.
“Our content will be available to the world. Even when we work with local content creators, the content will speak to a larger audience,” Hackman told me. “There will be shows in multiple languages.”
Knowing all of this, I am excited for the launch of Binge next year. I can’t wait to see what this new streaming platform brings to the mix.