Raptr launches Plays.TV, an addicting, video-centric Instagram for gamers

31 Mar 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Instagram for Twitch? This Social Site Is About Short and Shareable Gaming ‘Moments.’.

I’ve got a confession to make: Even though I’m PCWorld’s gaming and graphics editor as well as a compulsive hoarder of in-game screenshots and video clips, very few of those gaming moments—practically none, if I’m being honest—make their way to my social media feeds.

“To me, chatting with my friends about all the funny and amazing things that happened in the game we just played is often as much fun as playing the game itself,” said Dennis “Thresh” Fong, founder and CEO of Raptr and an early eSports star. “Everyone experiences moments they want to remember when gaming; Plays.tv makes saving those moments as easy as taking a screenshot and provides a fun community to share them with.” “At Team Dignitas, we’re always looking for new ways to engage with our fans,” said Michael O’Dell, Managing Director of Team Dignitas. “Plays.tv makes it super simple to capture highlight moments from our matches without the hassles of editing, and it’s awesome to have a dedicated community to share them with so our fans can relive those moments with us.” Since introducing gameplay recording in Raptr nine months ago, Raptr users have captured more than four million highlight videos from their gaming sessions. As it turns out, I’m not the only one who feels that way, and that realization has led Raptr—the service powering AMD and Intel’s PC game streaming and optimization efforts—to create a new social network devoted solely to PC gamers. Also introduced today in Beta, the Plays.tv client is a free, fast, and simple way to capture, edit, and share gameplay clips and post them to your Plays.tv feed and other social networks like Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube. Now, the eight-year-old company has raised $14 million in a round led by Accel Partners with participation from the venture arm of longtime strategic partner AMD to do much more. Plays.TV revolves around sharing and talking about video clips of glorious gaming moments, complete with hashtags and a central feed of clips from the people you choose to follow.

Although the Mountain View, Calif.-based startup has enabled users to record gaming highlights for nearly a year now, it officially launched Plays.tv on Tuesday and announced the fresh funding to support its expansion. Rather than scrapping the social-sharing feature, Raptr’s team dug into the root cause and discovered that most gamers—like me—are reticent to share their clips on traditional social media. While only 1.5 million Twitchers currently create videos, Fong said he expected the new site’s more casual, social structure could eventually drive “tens of millions” of people to start making gameplay videos.

This is the second social network for the company, which dropped its first effort last year after pivoting in 2013 to focus on optimizing video game graphics and performance. It is only focused on PC gaming, a platform that is expected to grow 33% to reach $35 billion in 2018, according to data released in March by the industry nonprofit Open Gaming Alliance. And unlike Twitch, which specializes in live-streaming experienced gamers with large followings, Raptr is targeting amateur gamers to record and share their top moments. “This allows everyone to be a pro gamer.

Twitch is built around sharing a live stream of your active play sessions; Raptr’s site displays short, curated clips of moments that gamers find interesting, discovered via your feed, by browsing a general list of games, or by finding clips via hashtag. The Raptr and AMD Gaming Evolved clients will be able to share clips to the new service, but Raptr’s also taking a page from Facebook’s playbook and is rolling out a standalone Plays.TV client devoted exclusively to capturing and editing your gameplay videos, so you don’t have to clog up your PC with all of Raptr’s software if you’re only interested in the new site. Gamers download Raptr’s software which ensures the latest drivers for Intel, AMD and Nvidia hardware are installed and the game settings are adjusted for every PC configuration.

The My Videos tab, meanwhile, stores clips you’ve manually saved, either by pressing Crtl + F2 to save the last 20 seconds of gameplay or Crtl + ; to manually start and stop a clip. To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/raptr-launches-playstv-enabling-gamers-to-capture-and-share-their-pro-moments-adds-14-million-in-funding-300057185.html Copyright © 2007 PR Newswire. Degraded graphics and latency, both major concerns in “League of Legends,” “Battlefield 4” and others that require quick reaction times to succeed, isn’t an issue when Raptr is recording, according to Raptr co-founder and Chief Executive Dennis Fong.

Shadowplay and OBS force you to use a third-party video-editing program if you want to tinker with footage you’ve captured, but the Plays.TV app comes with a basic video editor baked in that lets you select a specific portion of the clip to share. (You can also opt to share your clips to Facebook, YouTube, or Twitter, though as we’ve already established, you probably won’t.) Once you’ve uploaded your clip, the client wipes it from your hard drive to prevent filling it up with videos (you can disable that setting if you’d like). Raptr’s Plays.TV client can actually suck in videos taken with alternate video capture programs, to facilitate easier editing and sharing to the network even if you prefer to not use Raptr’s software, but the official client automatically detects which game a video is associated with and slaps the appropriate hashtag and classification on it. Fong, a passionate PC gamer who won a Ferrari for his work playing “Quake” at the age of 19, founded Raptr because he believed optimizing PC settings for each game should be automatic and painless.

I spent the weekend mucking around with Plays.TV and even though its community was limited due to its secret beta status, I found myself strangely drawn to the service. He should know, considering he previously co-founded social enterprise software company Lithium Technologies Inc., online gaming tool Xfire, and games portal Gamers.com. Fong says he’s confident that amateur gamers are hungry for a dedicated place such as Plays.tv where they can share their triumphs and fails with like-minded people.

The barrage of short, interesting clips gives the site an almost “OK, just one more” feel that—as any Civilization player who says “OK, just one more turn” can attest—can quickly turn into hours wasted if you’re not careful. Whereas watching a Twitch stream feels like a long-term commitment, Plays.TV feels like a snack, highlighting only the most interesting parts of games: 15 seconds of exploding zombies here, 30 seconds of epic Battlefield 4 feats there, a barrage of brief League of Legends highlights. It’s too early to tell if Plays.TV’s community will take off the way Raptr no doubt hopes it will, and the community will be the life or death of this service, but I already know one thing: Plays.TV is a site I’ll be going back and checking often after this article’s published. Everything is hard.” New investor AMD Ventures joined prior backers Accel Partners, DAG Ventures and Tenaya Capital in the Series D infusion, boosts total outside funding to $41 million.

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