While this week’s Infinity Ventures Summit in Kyoto was largely a domestic affair, there were a number of out-of-towners in attendance looking to kickstart their operations in Japan. One of these was San Francisco-based Kamcord, a startup that hopes to capitalize on mobile gamers’s social tendencies.
The young startup offers an SDK that enables game developers to put a ‘movie’ button in game, and when it is pressed, they can then share video clips/replays of their game play. These can be shared directly to Kamcord where they can be viewed by other gamers, or they can be shared to places like YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, or even email 
And so yesterday at IVS, co-founder Adi Rathnam was in attendance in Kyoto, speaking to potential game company partners here in Japan that might make use of their screen capture service, which is already built into 160 mobile games to date. Their closest competitor right now is Finland’s Applifier, which is similar in that it also provides recording and sharing of game content, but focused more on cross-promotional ads through video.
Here on The Bridge we often share screen capture movies of games and apps we like, but the process is not a simple one, requiring specialized software and some patience as well. Having Kamcord built into the game itself certainly makes the process accessible enough for the average gamer, removing the normal obstacles from the video sharing process.
Logically, it makes sense for Kamcord to target the most developed mobile nations in Asia, including Japan and Korea. But perhaps the most interesting market for Kamcord, I think, is China. With Tencent as their major investor, WeChat is a natural and logical partner, says Adi. But China’s affinity for sharing user generated game videos on popular video streaming platforms like Youku would likely mean an easy victory for Kamcord. They will have to bring some local games into their repertoire though of course. Adi elaborates:
Expanding to China, Japan, and Korea is a top priority for us. Our plan to do so involves localizing our product into Chinese, Japanese, and Korean and letting users share content to the messaging apps that are so popular in Asia. Line, Kakao, and WeChat are doing an awesome job growing their user base and driving downloads to games, and we’d love to work with these companies to create a rich experience for users.
As for monetization, Kamcord is still focused on building its community for the time being, but I understand they’ll look at a variety of options from driving installs to advertising.
I’d be surprised if game developers and publishers here in Japan don’t recognize the potential that exists in having enthusiastic fans help market their games using videos. It may require some forward thinking on their part, and a little more trust in user-generated content, but I expect we’ll see many of them jump on the Kamcord bandwagon soon.
I understand the video files are not very big, often around 5 or 10 megabytes. ↩