We have a huge library of licensed and carefully curated classic games available to play on demand. It has never been easier to play.
No downloads, no fiddly emulators, just instant streaming.
Antstream also adds a unique twist with exclusive challenges, allowing you to compete against your friends and the global Antstream user base.
The service will initially be available in North America and Europe on PC, Mac, Xbox One, and on Android devices (iOS devices should follow soon after once approved by Apple).
While we will have 400 games on the platform when we launch in early access for our backers, this is just the beginning for us as we will keep adding new games regularly.
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Upon on meeting our initial goal, we went through the feedback we received during the campaign so far and looked at what we could build on top with the extra funding that would be both within the scope of the project, and would support the requests we received. Here are the Stretch Goals for the campaign so far:
- Stretch Goal #1 - Accelerate PlayStation 4 support. ✅
- Stretch Goal #2 - 50 more challenges in the Early Access. 🔲
Antstream as a company has been in existence since 2014, but the first line of code dates back to 2008! It started as a bedroom project for Steve Cottam, who is the CEO and founder. One of the original anecdotes that drove this idea was noting how at gaming / entertainment conventions the arcade cabinet running something like Pong would be the biggest draw every time! He realised then that retro was cool, it was desired, but it was not easily accessible…and so Antstream was born.
Obviously Steve has needed help along the way, and the team you see have a wealth of experience and credits to their names. The team is made up of poly skilled engineers who cover a wealth of programming languages covering classic and modern computing environments, as well as infrastructure engineers, and operations experts. Not to mention content and licensing specialists, and UX consultants to make sure everything works together to provide a good user experience, which is after all what Antstream is all about. The team have written games/worked for companies like Nintendo, Sega, Atlus, Square Enix, Ocean, and Konami, as well as more than a dash of the corporate and financial worlds in Fidelity, Goldman Sachs and Compaq / HP.
The wider team (some not shown) include the co-founders of Playdemic, and TT games, the ex-CEO of Sega Europe, and the lifetime president of Eidos, who is our Chairman Ian Livingstone CBE.
Some interesting facts about the team:
- They have worked on AI for spacecraft systems
- They have worked on hits such as the Repton series, Ravenskull and Pipeline Plus
- They have remixed C64 tracks for Chris Abbott's "Back in Time" albums
- They have written emulators for the Spectrum and BBC Micro
- Written game scripts, and articles for publications like Retro Gamer, Retro Survival, and Edge
- Produced arcade conversions for Midnight Resistance, Cabal, and Road Runner
- Been programming games for more than 30 years
- Won ENnie awards as a fantasy illustrator
- Earned a Guinness world record for Dragon's Lair being the largest video game ported to the ZX81
- One of them even wrote and sang the theme tune for a glove puppet called Helix D Monster!
As you can see, it's a multi-talented and broadly skilled team, and there is a clear flare for gaming and specifically retro games. Not only can these folks produce magic, they are passionate about doing it!
What does each reward mean?
- Subscription time to the Antstream Retro Gaming platform. When we launch the service in the summer this year, backers with this reward will have access to it immediately, for a period of time corresponding to the level of their pledge.
- Lifetime subscription to Antstream Retro Gaming service. When we launch the service in the summer this year, and for as long as the service runs, backers with this reward will have access to it immediately, for as long as the service is running and publicly available.
- Early Access to Antstream. Backers with this rewards will be able to connect to and use the Antstream service two weeks after the end of the campaign, before everyone else. It will be available on PC, Mac, Xbox, and Android devices. We will not count the duration of the Early Access against your Antstream subscription time.
- Access to the Kickstarter backers Discord channel. Before the official launch of Antstream, we will open a channel on our Discord server that will be exclusively accessible to the Kickstarter backers with this reward.
- Founder/VIP Title on Discord. On our Discord server, backers with this reward will receive the corresponding role title.
- Founder/VIP Title in the Antstream interface. On Antstream, backers with this rewards will have the corresponding title on their profile, and their avatar will have a frame exclusive to the backers with this reward.
- Fixed subscription price for Antstream Retro Gaming service forever. Backers with this reward will never have to pay more than the stated price for the service yearly subscription, for as long as the service is running and publicly available.
- Challenges unlocked at launch. Games that come with Challenges all have their first challenge unlocked to everyone. Further level are unlocked using the gems earned through playing Challenges. Backers with this reward also have extra challenges unlocked among the ones available at the launch of the platform.
- Add your own retro game to Antstream. This reward is strictly for game developers with a game playable on a retro platform that they would like to see on Antstream. Contractual clauses apply, you can get in touch with us through the campaign to discuss them. We reserve the right to decline any game that would not be fit for our platform, in which case we would refund the pledge.
- Name & Design a challenge. Backers with this reward will be invited to select a game from the Antstream library and work with our team to design a new challenge for it. They will be able to name the challenge in question, but we reserve the right to refuse names that we would find inappropriate and/or offensive. In those cases, we will work together with the backer to find a suitable name. Note that not all games can support challenges, don’t hesitate to get in touch during the campaign if you wish to know more.
- Beat My Score. Backers with this rewards will be given the opportunity to choose a game, play it with us, and set the default high score for that game, with their name or handle, as supported by the game as the default high score for everyone on the platform. We reserve the right to refuse names that we would find inappropriate and/or offensive. In case multiple people selecting the same game, we would allow them all to set their names in the high score table, as long as the game permits enough names to be listed.
We are putting the final touches to the service at the moment, and we believe that it will be available to all this summer.
As we are getting closer to our launch date, we felt that a crowdfunding campaign was a good way for us to do a number of things:
- We will learn from our prospective audience ahead of launch. This will allow us to serve them better, for example by installing servers in the regions where demand will be highest.
- We will start engaging with the fans about the games that will be available. We want the service to be built as a community space, and a crowdfunding campaign seems like a great way to start the conversation.
- We have many fans who have been supportive of our project over the years, this is also a way for us to offer them an opportunity to get their Antstream subscription at a much lower price point from the offering we will have at launch of $10 per month.
- We hope this will help to spread the word about Antstream far and wide.
The funds collected will all go towards development of the platform, as well as adding more games and features. If the Kickstarter campaign does not reach its goal, it will not change our release schedule in any significant way. However, it might mean we will prioritise development differently.
Risks and challenges
Antstream has been in full development for four years now, and we are getting very close to our release date. We are confident that we will meet it, even if we fail in reaching our campaign goal.
We have done our best to mitigate the risks for our backers. We have demonstrated Antstream at multiple gaming events, including gamescom and Play Expo, and we feel that the service is delivering on its promises. One of the risk is for our backers to expect games that we are not supporting yet to be available on platform, and that’s the reason why we have made public the list of 400 games that we know will be available from the launch.
We have decided to focus all our rewards around the services of the platform to make sure we would not be distracted by the hurdles of making t-shirts, or postcards. We are committed on delivering the best retro gaming experience available, to the widest audience.
- (31 days)