Overdog’s a new service that puts you in games with people of similar interests

You know, people you might actually like

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Playing videogames online with strangers can be a crap shoot. Sometimes you’ll get matched up with interesting, engaging, and respectable people. Other times (maybe more often than not), you won’t be able to stand the person on the other end of the mic. It’s an inherent problem that’s plagued platforms such as Xbox Live ever since they came to prominence.

Overdog is a new service that aims to mitigate the all-too-oft occurring scenario of playing against people that you mute as quickly as possible. Actually, Overdog’s mission statement is a bit more positive in that it looks to match people who are predisposed to liking one another.

The way Overdog accomplishes this is through shared interests. Upon launching the app, it asks you to choose a few things that you like. From there, it’s a rabbit hole of possibilities of things to choose from. “Oh, Destructoid; I’ll click like on that. Hey, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia! And Weezer! And Brand New! And Valiant Hearts! And The Silence of the Lambs!”

It goes on and on like that until you finally cut yourself off. But, the more you open up about what you’re into, the more likely the app will be to match you up with people who you could get along with. It’s sort of like an online dating service in that sense, except you don’t have to wine and dine the people you’re interested in; you just have to play them in Madden or cause mayhem alongside them in Grand Theft Auto: Online — whatever you two want to play.

However, perusing potential matches isn’t an intimidating prospect. The matchmaking tab gives a selection of like-minded users, and you can click around at your own leisure. There’s no sort of notification that someone likes you, in case you’re worried about some middle school sense of vulnerability. Instead, the app smartly places the burden on Xbox Live, and it uses the service’s interface to send messages, compare games, or invite to parties.

After spending a brief amount of time with Overdog, it’s obvious that the app has a strong chance at success on platforms that encourage sociability. The interface is easy to understand, setting up a profile is quick and painless, and it puts potential matches right in front of your face. Anyone who doesn’t want to play with others won’t find that Overdog offers much, but that’s a given. However, those who are looking for others to game with will find that new friends might just be a click and a conversation away thanks to Overdog.

Today, Overdog went live on Xbox One in the U.S., Canada, and Great Britain. It’s a free download and a free service. Currently, it’s only available on Microsoft’s console. Overdog is looking into expanding regions and coming to other platforms (PS4 seems like a good bet), but it’s focusing on making sure this roll-out goes smoothly. Everything else will get attention in due time.


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Brett Makedonski
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