Apps such as Vine, Snapchat and Instagram dominate social media with short videos displaying anything from humor to a quick conversation with a friend. For online games, the social interaction through livestreaming services such as the ever-popular Twitch and the recently launched Steam Broadcasting provide viewers with a full account of what happens during the livestream. However, Raptr, another popular online gaming community, doesn't see itself as another platform for live streaming, but it does want to be the Vine of online gaming with its latest product, Plays.tv.
Plays.tv works as a background client when you play a game. With a push of a button, you can record gameplay. However, the recording is only accessible to you and not available for livestreaming. The recording must be trimmed down to a short clip before it can be shared to the Plays.tv community, as well as Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. This, in effect, leaves out the non-essential parts of the game and shows off your clip as a highlight reel of sorts. Videos on the site range from a quick five-second video showcasing Elizabeth's mighty throwing arm in Bioshock: Infinite to a 1:44 clip of a funny glitch in Blizzard's Heroes of the Storm. In addition to sharing the video, users can also leave comments.
Plays.tv is the product of Raptr, which has partnerships with Intel and AMD. Recently, Raptr received another batch of funding from both AMD and Accel Partners to the tune of $14 million. This puts the total value of Raptr to over $170 million, which it is using to launch Plays.tv.
The partnerships, specifically with AMD, mean that the Plays.tv software is really meant for those who don't have a Raptr account or don't use AMD's GVR capture feature. However, you can import video to Plays.tv from other recording programs such as the Open Broadcaster Software and even Nvidia's ShadowPlay.
Obviously, gaming highlights are nothing new. Many games are featured online as GIFs, giving people a taste of what the game contains. However, Plays.tv seems to be positioning itself as a structured way of doing the same thing with many more games. Just like Twitch or Steam Broadcasting, there are a few high-profile players to follow on Plays.tv, but your average players can still upload their own moments on the service.
Raptr could strike gold with this new venture. While Twitch and Steam Broadcasting are focused on delivering a full broadcast, Plays.tv can find a niche where it focuses on just the big moments in gaming and hosts thousands, if not millions, of short clips.