Applifier CEO Jussi Laakkonen sounded a little groggy when he first answered the phone, but his mumbling turned into the fast, clear, and somewhat sarcastic sales pitch we've gotten to know him for by the end of the call. It was 6:00 AM in San Francisco, and the news just broke that his company, Applifier, had been acquired by Unity, the game engine. Laakkonen woke up about two minutes before we gave him a ring.
"Oh, you know, it's another step in the journey," mumbles Laakkonen at the beginning of the call.
Applifier's main product is Everyplay, a tool to allow players to record gameplay to share with friends on social media or Youtube. Everyplay goes deeper than a simple share button, however. The platform creates its own cross-game social network where you can see the videos your friends are sharing, or catch what the more popular videos from all games are.
Applifier and Unity apparently go back some time. In 2009 it wasn't really clear if Unity was going to make it or not as a game engine and Laakkonen did sort of an endorsement of Unity; a developer was talking about doing their own game engine, and Laakkonen told them, "don't do your own game engine, use Unity." Someone from Unity ended up hearing that and they ended up forging a relationship. Unity also happened to be the first to demo Everyplay.
To Laakkonen the acquisition makes sense. Developers have two life or death questions. "How do we create a game that's really good and cross platform [which is the problem unity solves]. The other question is how do you connect gamers and how do you help them discover. That's the problem we've been working on."
With a solid integration into Unity and with more resources to scale up the platform, we should see Everyplay integrated into more games.
"We don't fell like its a sale or anything. I see this as a merging teams." says Laakkonen. "Now we have 400 more colleagues to help grow."