Utomik is celebrating a milestone in 2023, being one of the breakout gaming services that is still around today. For those who have only heard of Microsoft's Game Pass or PS+, this might come as a surprise. Utomik has been kicking it and thriving underneath the radar. I got a chance to ask the CEO of Utomik, Doki Tops, some questions about this business. Here's the scoop.
Utomik is an online gaming subscription filled with over 1400 games. Anyone with a decent computer can pick a game from their library and play it on the computer for a monthly fee. With a technology called frictionless game ingestion technology, games are easily ported over to the platform without needing any code change. A smart download system lets the game download only the essential files on your computer with other files being downloaded while you play the game. Utomik announced this groundbreaking technology in 2014, going beta in 2016.
Utomik has built an all-in-one platform that covers virutally every game itch. With a library that is constantly growing with retro games, indie titles, and day-one releases. The company markets toward midcore and casual gamers offering a variety of games in every genre. If you are using the desktop app your limitation is only your computer's storage space and graphical capabilities. Seeing that most of these games are indie titles or from the early 2010's, users don't need to worry about having the latest graphics rig.
But Utomik is growing to keep up with the competition. In 2020 they added a cloud service that can be accessed on Android and Smart TVs (LG and Samsung). The streaming service is built from the ground up, utilizing a handful of gamesfor portability through touchpad or Bluetooth controller. The streaming service is growing and improving, striving to give you the same quality that Game Pass or PS+ does for a much lower cost. Users have a choice between the only computer subscription ($4.99) or the computer and cloud subscription ($8.99) when ordering the service.
Utomik has kept their prices lower than Game Pass, Luna and PS+, staying within the $5-$9 range since the very beginning. This is because their philosophy is to be independent of gaming consoles and to cater to fans of indie games.
Gaming subscriptions live and die by their game selections. A power house of day-one and exclusive games brought everyone over to Game Pass, while an anemic game library is why Stadia's premium service barely turned a head. Utomik has a sturdy foot in the door with games from Codemasters, Deep Silver, Curve Digital Games, Alawar, Daedalic Studios, Plug-In Digital, and Interplay. These are mostly small to medium publishers pumping out indie games and retro titles, but they are more than happy to give their best titles to Utomik.
Don't let the indie niche dissuade you. There are over 1400 underrated gems, casual games, indie surprises, full story adventures, and RPGs. For those looking for name power they offer Borderlands, The Surge, Dead Island, Metro 2033, Metro Last Light, Saints Row (2,3,4, GOOH), Warhammer: Chaosbane, Deliver Us the Moon, the Ys series, Metal Slug, Worms, Harvest Moon, and Legend of Heroes series. I just mentioned over 500 hours of gameplay and I haven't even scratched a dent in the library. For those who love the small publishing studios and artistic titles you have access to Pong Quest, Pumpkin Jack, Scarf, Downpour, Cristales, Shaq Fu, Werewolf: The Apocalypse, Deponia, Embr, RiMe, and Pizza Possum. It is worth mentioning that there is a slurry of games you find in the checkout line for Office Depot like mahjong, search and find, cafe simulators, mystery puzzles, and point-and-click adventures. Doki mentioned that Bus Simulator 2018 was a huge success with their customers.
The platform works like Netflix. The desktop and Android app gives you recommendations to other titles and playlists. I got on board with Utomik because of Red Faction and Metro 2033, but by the end of my trial I had 20 more games on my play later list. Utomik offers a free trial for those who are curious. The cloud service is still new and growing, so gamers will want to get the most out of the desktop app.
One of the secret weapons of smaller online game companies is that they yearn to build up healthy online communities. I mentioned, in a previous article, that Antstream has a great gaming Discord, but Utomik takes the cake with their Discord server. Developers will answer most of your questions with details. Game suggestions go right to the CEO sometimes. In fact, Doki Tops heard a streamer suggest the game Strayed Lights and he acquired it soon after. In a world where big tech has no time or room for gamers, this is refreshing. I highly recommend going on the Discord and chatting it up with one of the developers. They gave me a full essay of information when I asked if the service was coming to the Steam Deck. The CEO even answers your questions.
Those looking for online game servers and eSports will need to wait. The online multiplayer for a majority of games is locked to Steam, making it unavailable on Utomik. The company hopes to remedy this in the future as many gamers have said the platform is perfect for eSports. LAN and couch multiplayer is still available.
"Cross-platform play is supported on Utomik, but most games use Steam's matchmaking system, making it impossible for those games to run online multiplayer on Utomik. We are however developing a solution to enable multiplayer functionality even with Steam’s matchmaking system..."- Doki Tops
Utomik has survived the gaming subscription boom, despite media titans like Google and Amazon being in the market. They wisely kept the cost low and simple with zero-friction technology. How does this service stack up against NSO, Luna, PS+, and Game Pass? I can confidently say that Utomik is a family gaming suite, offering games in every category. It is very feasible for someone to declare the service as their last gaming console they need and not have to worry about shelling out $70 for next gen games. With Utomik being one of the longest running services in the business, it does not seem likely they will crash and burn over night like Stadia.
Some gamers might feel that the AAA games they offer are "too old" or they aren't offering the hottest next-gen offerings. You won't find Super Mario Wonder, Cyberpunk, or The Halo series on here, after all. I would still challenge gamers to give this service a try. There is something for everyone and Utomik has a very strong JRPG, hack-and-slash, and platformer library that puts Game Pass and Luna to shame.
Doki would not budge on telling me any future games or companies they were going to work with in 2024, but he assured me that exciting things were coming. The cloud gaming service (on my WiFi) is not as smooth as a direct download on your PC so I hope that gets upgrades as time goes by. Doki also wants to optimize the Discord community for greater use. Utomik is very interested in working with consoles and Steamdeck for the future.
I love the idea of having Utomik as my "Netflix and Spotify" for future gaming. They are a sweet escape from the world of in-game currency, toxic gaming servers, needless DLC, mobile ads, and $70 gaming gambles that need patches. I would love to see more fighting games and first person shooters in the future.
What To Play
If you are thinking of getting Utomik here is a quick guide to what you should try.
Racing: Crash and Burn Racing, Grip: Combat Racing, Garfield Kart, Extreme Gas Guzzlers
Fighting: King of FIghters XIII, King of FIghters 98: Ultimate Match Final Edition
Shooters: Red Faction Guerilla, Painkiller, Metro 2033: Redux, El Matador
Action RPG: Dark Devotion, Borderlands, Bound By Flame, Dead Island: Riptide, The Surge, Vikings- Wolves of Midgard
Family Games: Kao the Kangaroo, Born of Bread, Biped, Little Dragon's Cafe, My Time in Portia
RPG: Trails of Cold Steel, Ys: Memories of Celceta, For the King, Grand Guilds, Zwei: The Ilvard Insurrection, The Dungeon Of Naheulbeuk: The Amulet Of Chaos