Evolve Emerges from Closed Beta to Debut Universal Platform for Gaming

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Newly designed social network and enhanced toolset presents a cohesive gaming experience across fragmented landscape. Multi-game matchmaking is an industry first.

Today, Echobit, LLC (http://www.echobit.com) announces the release of its next generation social network and toolset for gamers, called Evolve (http://www.evolvehq.com). After an exciting 8 months in closed beta (and adding 8,000 members along the way), the three-person startup has quietly built a platform that maximizes the reach and influence of gamers’ and the games they play within the rapidly expanding, increasingly disconnected video game universe.

The video game industry is multiplatformed and wildly incongruent. PCs and consoles have been joined by mobile devices, social networks and tablets to amass a global audience of over 1.2 billion gamers—up from 250 million just a few years ago—an audience with extremely limited ability to consolidate their various exploits into one discrete gaming context. “Today’s gamers want to remain whole and in control of their gaming lives across any game, publisher or platform,” states Adam Sellke, Co-founder and CEO of Echobit. “Publishers and hardware manufacturers like Activision/Blizzard, EA, Ubisoft, Valve, Zynga, Apple, Microsoft, Sony and others are all protecting their respective turfs on Battle.net, Call of Duty Elite, Origin, uPlay, Steam, GameCenter, Xbox Live, Play Station Network and the like. That’s nuts. These silos and walled gardens unnecessarily constrain gamers’ freedom, so we created Evolve.”

Evolve provides gamers an elegant view of their gaming world from a single profile. From it, players are treated to stats, rankings and charts of the games they and their friends are enjoying. Evolve not only gives players a place to roost, but also plenty of ways to crow. “A big part of gaming is bragging,” contends Sellke. “Evolve lets you really show ‘em who’s boss.” The platform supports the ability to import and aggregate various gaming achievements onto a profile. Also, Evolve members are equipped with “live” badges for touting their prowess with up-to-the-minute data on sites and forums. Evolve has recently added in-game screen and video capture to help gamers “prove once and for all that their kung fu is the best,” says Sellke.

There are a lot of social tools and game tracking/achievement aggregators out there, but no other platform directly facilitates game coordination and connectivity like Evolve. “Everything we do is aimed at maximizing the gaming experience for gamers,” says Sellke. “A big part of that is bringing gamers together and reducing the time it takes to actually get playing.” Multi-protocol IM, group chat and in-party VoIP allow gamers to connect, gab and kvetch to each other, virtually anywhere, in real-time. Friendships can be inherited from Facebook. Others are able to be recruited via invitation links that bring players together as friends or into groups and parties. Joining a party establishes a VPN connection in one-click for LAN play and built-in VoIP. One other feature, an industry first, is the party finder—a universal matchmaking system that allows gamers to poll the network for multiple games of interest at the same time. As soon as the system finds others who share the same pursuits, all those concerned are offered a match and, upon acceptance, are instantly placed into a party.

Fragmentation and platform proliferation threaten gamers’ ability to maintain a singular reference point to their gaming activities and limits their social value. Evolve, through its game-agnostic connectivity tools and common player profile is establishing a free, open and universal platform in this space, spanning the void and making it the inevitable solution.

Evolve [http://www.evolvehq.com is a social platform for gamers developed by Echobit, LLC. Evolve makes it easy to keep tabs on gaming friends and rally them together for raids, deathmatches and co-op play. The Evolve experience is available both on the web as well as in-game via its overlay technology. Evolve optionally integrates with existing social networks and services including AIM, Twitter, Facebook, Raptr, Xfire, MSN, ICQ, XMPP and Google Talk, all while fully respecting its members’ privacy.

Echobit, LLC [http://www.echobit.com is a Minneapolis, MN based startup. Founded in 2006, Echobit is focused on dislodging entrenched, closed business models by building democratic platforms that help people better connect with each other. Its flagship platform, Evolve, is aimed at making gaming a more engaging and social experience.


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