Cloud Dosage Interview With Blacknut

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We had the pleasure of chatting with Nabil Laredj, the VP of Business Development at cloud gaming service, Blacknut.

You can see the interview in full below:

Q. Thank you for taking the time to chat with us. 

Can you please introduce yourself to our readers? 

A. I’m Nabil Laredj, VP of Business Development & Licensing at Blacknut since 2016. My team and I are in charge of building the incredible catalog of games curated for Blacknut players of all ages and creating an extensive distribution network through telecommunication partnerships, Smart TV access, and more– we are currently managing over 40 active partnerships in this arena. I have been involved in the gaming industry for over 15 years now, including stints at g-cluster, Gameloft, and Electronic Arts.

Q. Please tell us more about Blacknut?

A. Blacknut is an online, subscription-based cloud game streaming service available. We are currently active in more than 60+ countries and have licensing partnerships with over 150+ licensing partners, ranging from great indie game devs up to the world’s most iconic publishers. Blacknut subscriptions allow up to 5 different, simultaneously accessible player profiles to access a catalog of over 500+ premium games, including AAA, puzzle, adventure, FPS, and the largest collection of racing & sports games, with no lock-in contract.

Our platform allows users to play games through streaming on a myriad of compatible devices including Computers, Smart TVs, tablets, mobiles, with instant cloud saves– so players can pick up and change games and devices at whim. Blacknut at its heart is about creating a gaming experience that caters to please any member of the family, so we also have special features for parents like pin-protected profiles.

A. A continuing trend in the gaming industry is the rise of cross media IPs – games that graced the silver screen or the inverse, blockbusters than have been transformed into playable experiences. In 2024, the way people, not just gamers, are consuming media is different; users are much less attracted to the idea of passively consuming content, they want to get in on the action.

Accordingly, we have seen a large influx of cross media IPs with new games; the same goes for the “how and on what” users consume, users are more disposed to flexibility and choice across their devices. Blacknut has been at the forefront of bringing these IPs to new audiences, especially given our audience is not restricted to “hard core gamers”, thanks to our global reach, and our lack of reliance on hardware.

We have also absolutely seen significant, positive changes in the platform; for example our player base doubled between 2022 & 2023. 2023 also saw our player base’s age distribution getting more homogeneous, and our gender split approaching a 50/50. We also see significant usership across SmartTVs– and our users will play five times longer when they play with a gamepad with their TV!

Q. Do you have any plans to further the reach of Blacknut, perhaps to more smart devices, such as more models of smart TV etc?

A. In 2023, Blacknut deployed on the LG TV Gaming Shelf & Samsung TV Gaming Hub for 2021 smart TVs onwards alongside our wide existing range of compatible devices. We estimate we are already compatible with 10B of connected screens.

It is in our core mission to democratize access to video games, so we want Blacknut to be available on the widest choice of devices so our players can always find their ideal IP. We currently have the largest OS compatibility in the cloud gaming space across PC, Mobile, Smart TV, set top boxes, and OTT.

In regards to the future, we are always looking for new ways to reach our global audiences; while we’re not able to disclose them just yet, we plan to announce several large device manufacturers partnerships as well as new B2B partners within the next few months.

On the catalog front, we’ve been working on some really cool partnerships with fantastic publishers, including the awaited arrival of several AAA publishers to the platform. We will also soon announce the arrival of a major MMO game to our ecosystem, overall we are super excited about upcoming features arriving soon.

Q. Do you have any plans to offer different tiers of the Blacknut subscription, perhaps a cheaper tier than the one currently available?

A. Blacknut will always focus on bringing the best value to our players. We are already one of the sole cloud gaming providers that offers 500+ games available with streaming and on all devices, 5 subprofiles under a single subscription account, no “Time” limitations, no waiting lines (our games launch within 30s), and adding an average of 10+ new games per month every month. We are also currently offering new users across the EU, UK, and US a special discovery promotion wherein their first 30 days of Blacknut is only 1USD, Pound, or Euro. One of our focuses this year is to enrich our core offering with even more added value content for our players.

To do so, we are working with developers for the possibilities of allotting them a dedicated space inside Blacknut’s platform to create their own propositions. We actually recently announced phase one of this project with Focus Entertainment but more are joining and we are excited to soon be able to reveal the full gameplan. You’ll have to keep following us in the coming weeks for all the details.

Q. How do you curate and control the games that you release onto the Blacknut service? 

A. Our games are curated with players of all ages in mind, and a major factor in maintaining our impressive catalog is our relation with publishers. Over the years, we’ve patiently built these relationships as we grew our audience, and as our platform has grown we have received more and more interest from publishers as well. Blacknut handles the entirety of integrated games for the cloud internally, meaning we are able to handle the process from A-Z. For game makers, we only require an existing build of the game and we take care of all the technical work and marketing.

Q. You have a lot of partnerships with various developers and publishers. 

Do you think Blacknut will pursue a partnership to secure Xbox titles for the service, now that it is in the hands of Ubisoft to issue such deals? 

A. That’s right, Blacknut currently has over 150 licensing partnerships, including deals with Konami, Disney, Team17, Curve Games, PLAION, Outright Games, Green Man Gaming, Focus Entertainment, and more. Regarding Xbox/Ubisoft titles, we cannot comment for now.

Q. Are you in talks with any other developers or publishers to secure their games for Blacknut?

A. Every day ! … Last 12 months we added 200 new games to Blacknut’s portfolio. On average, our players see 10 new games added per month and we plan to continually deliver with this ferocity if not with more. As previously mentioned we can see publishers’ interest growing every day to add new content to our platform.

Q. Over the last 18 months, we have seen services such as GeForce NOW and PlayStation Cloud Gaming, upgrade their server blades to increase their performance and lower latency. 

Is server upgrades something that could be on the horizon for Blacknut? 

A. We are continuously improving our Infrastructure worldwide, by adding new Points Of Presence (POP) and CCU capacities, working with telcos directly on edge cloud optimisation, or as with Ericsson last year, showcasing Open Network APIs in order to control the end-to-end user experience and deliver a consistent, stable, and superior gaming experience, even on the go. Blacknut does not have the same target audience as GeForce Now and Playstation. Our target audience tends to be more focused on families and occasional gamers.

They are not hardware oriented, effectively they prefer to be hardware agnostic. Accordingly, Blacknut liberates them from the discussion and just ensures they can enjoy quality games that have been optimized for their usage time.

Q. Do you think we could ever see Blacknut add an achievement system to their service and further expansion to player profiles?

A. This topic is more related to the game developpement choice than a limitation from Blacknut. We have games managing well achievements and player engagements, and others have not internalized these features, and rely on Steam APIs for examples. That being said, this is definitely something we’re closely looking at.

Q. How is things with your white-label business, have you been successful in securing new customers around the world? 

A. Our White label, SDK offerings, and Blacknut branded Distribution have all been successful in securing customers across the world. We actually see a growing appetite from partners globally for our cloud gaming solution. With already 40+ signed partnerships and an average of one to two new B2B partnerships signed every month, our customer base has been growing consistently since our launch and we have now over 1.7 billion addressable consumers and 10 billion addressable devices.

Our mission at Blacknut is to bring the maximum players to our publishers’ games and revenues for our content owners, and our B2B solutions are a full part of this strategy.

Q. Many thanks for taking part in this interview. 

Is there anything else you would like to add?

A. Thank you for this good conversation and thanks for all your work in covering the cloud gaming space!


Lee Reid

Scottish video game enthusiast who is very passionate and a big believer in cloud gaming. Also loves to chat about video games.

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