Applifier has just released some stats of their Everyplay mobile game video replay platform, announcing that they've been driving 7.5% of game installs for the indie games that have plugged into the Everyplay network.
The Everyplay platform is one part recording service - like a program you would use on your computer to grab video of your screen so you can show your friends gameplay walkthroughs or awesome in-game moments, but built into an iOS game. Accessing Everyplay on these indie games also plugs you into the greater Everyplay network accessed in-game where you can share videos with your friends and see moments from other games.
Everyplay is free for developers to plug into and for users to use. The platform then makes its money by selling ads when users access the Everyplay network, by allowing developers to promote videos to the Everyplay audience, and by providing easy access for deveopers to take advantage of the Applifier Impact advertising network.
Applifier's Everyplay seems to be on a roll at the moment, seeing 750% growth in mobile video sharing over the last quarter. Additionally in the past 30 days they've seen the total recorded video increase again by 25%. Big percentage numbers are impressive, but if they only had two videos shared in Q1 2013 then they don't mean much. But to give you some context, today Applifier says that they're seeing two minutes of gameplay shared for every minute.
According to many, Applifier is one of the hottest startups in Finland and with over 150 million active users in their gaming cross-promotion network - rightly so.
Last year, they announced Everyplay. Which in most basic terms allows in-game replay recording. However it also acts as a gaming video social network as you can share your game replays on Everyplay, Facebook, Twitter and Youtube. This, according to Applifier, will drive organic growth for game developers.
The 'Let's Play' style of YouTube videos where gamers narrate and play games has become a gaming staple, but fairly impossible for mobile games. While some may argue that there are more than enough 14 year-olds with cracky voices talking about games on YouTube, mobile developers have reason to want to get in on the action - lots of gamers like to check out videos of real gameplay to see how the game looks and plays, rather than checking out the polished and animated game trailers made by publishers.
This is the big idea behind Helsinki-based Everyplay, a spinoff of Applifier. Everyplay is an in-game cross-game social network where mobile gamers to be able to record and share screencasts of the games they're playing without awkwardly holding a camera or jailbreaking their phone. Today they've beta launched a feature called FaceCam, which takes advantage of your phone's camera to record videos of yourself while playing the game.
Yesterday I took a Skype call from Jussi Laakkonen, the CEO of Applifier, after he told ArcticStartup he had something awesome to show us. The Skype video pops up with him on his walking desk. I should mention for those of you unfamiliar with the concept, it's similar to a standing desk, except that you're slowly but constantly moving on a treadmill, rather than just standing (or sitting) all day.
"Greg," he asks. "What is the most powerful way for you to discover a new game on your iPhone?"
If any of our readers do a lot of negotiations over Skype, I have to recommend you put your camera right in front of a walking desk, because it looks like he's slowly coming after me.
"Uhh, recommendations from my friends?" I respond.
"Exactly," Laakkonen says, and goes into a smooth pitch of Everyplay, Applifier's new cross promotion product that should seriously shake up mobile games. At its essence, Everyplay is an in-game social video network that enables players to share replays from their mobile games, complete with a video of their face, voice from the mic, or just the action on screen. Today Applifier is announcing Everyplay's beta with a select group of developers.
Mindtrek is one of the notable technology and startup oriented conferences taking place in the Nordics that startups should pay attention to. Why? For one, they are giving away 20 010 € worth of prize money to most attractive startups that match their Launchpad criteria. This year's finalists, that will be pitching at the event, have been announced. They are listed in alphabetical order below.
Applifier is a new Finnish startup that was pivoted from Everyplay, which was originally a social games developer. Applier is a cross-promotion network of independent social application developers on Facebook. It's user base has blow up over night and gone from zero to 55 million users in four months. The service currently represents over 100 social games and applications, and reaches more than 55 million monthly active users (MAUs). According to the company, it reaches more Facebook users than any social game publisher, except of course Zynga.
Nordic Game Program has had its ceremony in Malmö Sweden where it gave out three million Danish Kronor worth of funding. The program was started by the joint decision between the Icelanding, Danish, Norwegian, Swedish and Finnish Ministries of Culture to promote Nordic games. The program was founded in 2006 and has plans to run until 2012. A total of 84 projects were submitted and only eight received funding.
This year's Mindtrek Launchpad finalists have been chosen. The companies went through the detailed analysis of the pre-jury (disclosure: I was one of the pre-jury members voting for the finalists). The MindTrek Launchpad competition will award the most innovative Finnish digital media product, demo or concept – and the people behind it, who have the urge to make it big. Six finalists from the submitted The finalists, in alphabetical order, are:
The second half of 2009 is well under way as the late comers have finally returned from their summer holidays and the focus is once again put back into work. While the economies around the world are showing slight rebound from the nasty recession, things are still uncertain. This however doesn't seem to be the case with startups - the uncertainty has not startups all that hard, compared to the bigger giants. One proof of this is that many startups are still recruiting.
Everyplay, a Finnish social gaming startup founded last year, has come out of stealth mode and released a product called Kamu World on Facebook. It is a "virtual hangout place" featuring edgy "Kamu" characters ('kamu' also means 'a buddy' in Finnish).
Kamu World in its current form is essentially a collection of visualized virtual characters and chat rooms, with few game-like features. It has compelling and very polished look and feel already, though. When entering the world, players create their own Kamu creature, and choose a location around the world (e.g. a game arcade in Tokyo) to meet other Kamus in. Kamus appear as small, desktop-size creatures, smaller than for example a drinking glass.
Espoo Otaniemi boomed of startups and investors when Invest Tech Finland was held for the first time on last Tuesday and Wednesday. There was a real mix of companies from all round consumer web, nano, medical and material tech.
We got some taste of new startups, more seasoned companies seeking growth and some familiar faces marching forward with their plans. There were quite a few interesting companies to write about, the full list can be found here - check these out. Note that most of companies presented at the event already had some prototypes, partnerships, customers or revenues. Here is some of my picks (not in any particular order):
Here's a video I shot with my Nokia N95 and subsequently uploaded to JayCut for editing via my laptop (see more on JayCut here). In the video itself Jussi Laakkonen tells about his new social gaming startup, which is still in stealth mode. Jussi asked me to mention that Everyplay is looking into hiring a sitebuilder that can handle Ajax and PHP. You can send your resumes to corporate [at] everyplay.fi
Another long time Finnish gaming master mind Asmo Halinenha s also announced that he's moving on from Apaja, a company he founded, but has only let us know about a few board positions his moving into at this point, namely at Eat.fi and at Grey Area.
Social gaming, unlike many other industries, can actually benefit from the gloomy economic environment, as people many times move towards inpexsive games played in the browser from the expensive console games, and in extreme cases have much more time to play and tinker with all kinds of stuff online if they get laid off. As harsh as this may sound, this is largely how for example Typepad got started when Ben and Mena Trott started Six Apart after they got laid off.
Further, Jussi promised us that he will shed light into how the Finnish gaming industry has evolved from an active demo scene by writing a guest blog post on the topic. Another strong player that has come this route is Scred.
Jussi Laakkonen, CEO of Everyplay, has done extensive research in terms of investments to the gaming industry in the recent years. We also covered Jussi's previous findings in ArcticStartup close to two months ago when he reported that approximately 2 to 4 million USD are invested into the casual gaming market each week.
Jussi has compiled a nice 2 blog post analysis into the market with discoveries such as investments peaking in July 2008 to the amount of 71M USD in total to the industry. He has also added the MMORPG market to the analysis. It's clear that the two largest segments in the gaming industry, receiving funding are the MMORPG and the casual gaming segments.
So with regards to my previous post on Betware from Iceland, I asked whether we should cover the gaming industry more, a clear answer from you was - yes, please. We'll get more insight into this industry in the future as the market is one of the most attractive ones in many ways, not only investments, at this moment.
Photo by A*A*R*O*N (CC:by-nc-sa)
Laakkonen has compiled the list from public resources such as VentureBeat, TechCrunch, GigaOm, etc. He admits that there are possibly a lot of investments missing as they based on PR, which naturally works best in the US.
From the Nordics and Baltics, in the list are investments to Apaja Online Entertainment and Sulake, so I'm guessing there are many more smaller seed investments made to smaller Nordic and Baltic companies which aren't present in the list.
What's your take - is the casual gaming market the hottest corner of the internet industry at the moment?