by Harold Goldberg
There are times when the fates allow for those who are in the video game industry to change directions – and careers. Recently, I had the chance to speak with John Batter, the CEO of M-GO, a movie streaming company which launched early in the year.
I was looking forward to speaking with John Batter, not only because M-GO is innovative in that it brings recent movies to the stream quicker than, say, Netflix. For instance, The East and The Great Gatsby were up before Netflix had them.
I was looking forward to a chat with Batter because he had been working in video games prior to moving on to the new venture at M-GO. He had been at DreamWorks Interactive when CD-ROM games were popular. He had been a group general manager at Electronic Arts and helped to launch Medal of Honor: Frontline, James Bond: Agent Under Fire and Command and Conquer: Generals. And he had been a general manager at EA Mobile when Need for Speed Underground hit.
With that kind of resume I felt compelled to ask, Could the M-GO platform allow for streaming of video games? Batter answered, “The M-GO platform has been optimized for streaming linear content and that is our 100% focus today. The platform’s core technology can be utilized for streaming other types of content, including some types of games. Again, today our focus is on providing the best possible experience for movies and TV shows.”
Batter didn’t exactly say ‘no.’ He said, M-GO has the infrastructure to do deal with games. But the company is not going to stream games right now. You can’t do everything at once, that’s for sure. As an example, look beyond games to what happened when the contractor promised too much with the federal web portal for the Affordable Health Care Act signup. It didn’t work. Batter’s idea is to be concerned with what M-GO does best, and then grow from there.
But regarding games: I’m glad John Batter didn’t close the door completely.
-Harold Goldberg, a contributor to the New York Times, is the founder of the New York Videogame Critics Circle.