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modl.ai is the only games-focused company to make the 2021 CB Insights list of most innovative artificial intelligence startups

George Miller

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Modl.ai is only games-focused company to make CB list of most innovative artificial intelligence startups
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modl.ai, the Danish company making AI-driven tools that help developers build better games, has been ranked as one of the 100 most promising private artificial intelligence companies in the world by CB Insights. Its fifth annual AI 100 includes modl.ai as the only AI company focused on the games industry.

“To be listed as one of the most promising AI companies in the world, let alone the only one working in the games industry, is a reflection of the growing importance that AI plays across different aspects of modern game development,” said Christoffer Holmgård, CEO at modl.ai.

modl.ai was founded by a talented and diverse team of game developers, engineers and AI experts who saw the opportunity to use AI to automate and improve aspects of the game development process. Between them, the company founders have been involved in the development and launch of more than 30 games. Despite being less than three years old, modl.ai ranks second in the world among private companies for the number of technical game publications its team has authored.

Through an evidence-based approach, the CB Insights research team selected the AI 100 from a pool of over 6,000 companies based on several factors, including patent activity, investor quality, news sentiment analysis, proprietary Mosaic scores, market potential, partnerships, competitive landscape, team strength, and tech novelty. The Mosaic Score, based on CB Insights’ algorithm, measures the overall health and growth potential of private companies to help predict a company’s momentum.

“This is the fifth year CB Insights has recognized the most promising private artificial intelligence companies with the AI 100, and this is one of the most global groups we’ve ever seen. This year’s cohort spans 18 industries and is working on everything from climate risk to accelerating drug R&D,” said CB Insights CEO Anand Sanwal. “Last year’s AI 100 companies had a remarkable run after being named to the list, with more than 50% going on to raise additional financing (totalling $5.2B), including 16 $100 million+ mega-rounds. Many also went on to exit via M&A, SPAC or IPO. As industry after industry adopts AI, we expect this year’s class will see similar levels of interest from investors, acquirers and customers.”

modl.ai’s development tools include modl:test, a suite of AI-driven tools for automating repetitive test tasks in game development, modl:persona, AI tools that help developers understand who their players are and optimise their game experience, modl:play, AI bots that learn from human behaviour play as opponents, player stand-ins, or NPCs, and modl:create, tools that accelerate game content creation. You can find out more at www.modl.ai.

Asia

Kwalee projects £20 million investment in India following success of Bangalore studio

George Miller

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Kwalee projects £20 million investment in India following success of Bangalore studio
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UK-based game developer and publisher continuing to build in Bangalore as India becomes Kwalee’s biggest country by downloads with around 5 million monthly active players

Kwalee, a renowned developer and publisher of video games for all platforms, has projected a $30 million investment in its India operations over the next five years.

The Leamington Spa-headquartered firm announced its intention to make Bangalore the home of its first overseas studio back in May 2020, initially building the team on a remote basis due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

With the physical Bangalore studio now established in one of the city’s vibrant technology parks, Kwalee Bangalore already employs around 50 talented staff and is planning significant expansion with around 80 current vacancies in India across all disciplines and 25 new vacancies in the UK.

Team members in India have already contributed to the development of games such as Blade Forge 3D (20 million+ downloads), Teacher Simulator (25 million+) and Let’s Be Cops 3D (21 million+). Kwalee Bangalore team members have also been involved in updating classic titles like Draw It (90 million+ downloads) and have played a prominent role in many other exciting games that are close to launching worldwide.

But as well as India having an increasingly significant part to play in the development of Kwalee’s titles, the publisher currently sees more downloads of its mobile games in India than in any other country. With well over 600 million total downloads worldwide, including downloads in every country on earth, that amounts to a massive player base in India.

Kwalee is headquartered in Leamington Spa and was founded by games industry legend David Darling CBE, who previously co-founded Codemasters in 1986 and paved the way for the midlands gaming hub now known as ‘Silicon Spa’. With Kwalee having made its name with ‘hypercasual’ mobile games, which are known for their mass appeal and accessibility, the firm now also publishes games on PC and console platforms.

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said, “I’m delighted that Kwalee is expanding into India to make the most of the opportunities for UK businesses in one of the world’s biggest economies. Our exporters are brilliant ambassadors for Britain and I hope today’s announcement is just the start of what you can do for India and the UK.”

“It’s incredible to see the brilliant team we have managed to build in Bangalore, in such a short space of time,” said David Darling CBE, CEO and founder of Kwalee. “The vision from the start was for our teams in the UK and India to collaborate as though they were one studio, and even under difficult circumstances we’ve seen the fruits of that with great games and a fundamental contribution from our colleagues in Bangalore.”

“Our projected investment in Kwalee Bangalore over the next five years shows our commitment to continue building this amazing team and to maintain our rapid growth as we build a global team to make global hits. We’re so proud of what’s already been achieved in a disrupted year and we can’t wait to build on this platform.”

Kwalee’s most recent release, Makeover Studio 3D, has surpassed 2.5 million downloads in a matter of weeks and was recently a top-3 game on the App Store in the USA, UK and Canada.

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Gaming

Admix In-Play Advertising Verified for the First Time by IAS

George Miller

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Admix In-Play Advertising Verified for the First Time by IAS
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– Viewability of In-Play inventory now independently measured by IAS –

– Enables brands and agencies to invest in mobile gaming with confidence –

Admix, the pioneering In-Play advertising platform that bridges the gap between mobile games and brands, announces a new partnership with Integral Ad Science (IAS), a global leader in digital ad verification. This integration with IAS makes Admix the only In-Play advertising company to offer ad inventory that is measured and verified by a trusted, independent partner.

Now, the quality of Admix’ In-Play advertising is independently assessed and verified with the same rigor as wider digital inventory. This measurement is enabled by the powerful technology that IAS provides, helping to unlock significant potential across the In-Play category for the entire mobile advertising ecosystem, from brands to mobile game developers.

Admix offers the most advanced, scalable In-Play platform, empowering advertisers to programmatically target and reach highly engaged audiences across billions of hours of gameplay. Until now, however, Admix created its own measurement tools, meaning the industry was unable to invest at scale with the same confidence provided by this integration with IAS.

Samuel Huber, CEO and Co-Founder at Admix, commented:

“Admix’ new partnership with IAS is the first in a number of initiatives to standardize In-Play viewability and performance. While we have always been confident in our technology and our approach, ultimately having our solution verified by a trusted independent partner such as IAS is vital to our vision for gaming as a media channel. This announcement will be ground-breaking not just for Admix, our developers and advertisers, but for the entire category. At Admix, we regularly hear from agencies who recognize that gaming is a huge part of media consumption and want to make video gaming part of their core strategy. Until now, they have been hamstrung by a lack of third-party verification. Thanks to IAS and our technology, brands and agencies can now jump in with full confidence and put compelling, premium ad experiences in front of mobile gaming’s 2.5 billion players.”

Chance Johnson, Chief Revenue Officer at IAS, commented:

“Working with Admix, we’re delivering a critical viewability solution for In-Play advertising that gives marketers the tools they need to invest confidently. By bringing trusted measurement and greater transparency to the high-growth In-Play gaming market, we’re helping brands, agencies, and mobile game developers ensure the quality of their advertising.”

Ron Amram, Senior Director, Global Media at Mars, commented:

“Mars is committed to media innovation and its obligation to maintain brand and social safety. We need partners and solutions, like IAS’s verification of an in-game advertising partner, which allow us to strike that balance.”

Publishers have already experienced stable and sustainable income through Admix’ self-serve platform and no-code SDK, but the partnership with IAS will help increase media quality and buyer confidence. Just as crucially, Admix offers marketers access to superior inventory to gradually reduce their reliance on interruptive advertising, such as interstitials and rewarded video, thereby improving player experience and retention.

This announcement signals gaming’s transition from the most popular activity to dominant media, heralding a transformative moment for the advertising industry as it approaches mobile gaming and its 2.5 billion audience with previously unthinkable confidence. Powered by Admix’ pioneering technology, In-Play is set to become a dominant media channel for the next decade and beyond.

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Gaming

The Game Development World Championship 2020 Winners!

George Miller

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The Game Development World Championship 2020 Winners!
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The Game Development World Championship (GDWC) 2020 came to a close with the Winners announcement in a live-streamed awards show last Friday, April 30th.

The GDWC 2020 was the biggest in the championship’s history with over 1800 participating development teams from over 100 countries. The Pro category alone had over a thousand games submitted making the judges’ task of deciding the Top 3 games in each category a very challenging one. After much analysis and discussion, the winners were decided, and here they are.

GDWC 2020 Pro Category Top 3:
Winner: There Is No Game: Wrong Dimension by Draw Me A Pixel (France)
2nd Place: The Riftbreaker by EXOR Studios (Poland)
3rd Place: Helheim Hassle by Perfectly Paranormal (Norway)

GDWC 2020 Hobby Category Top 3:
Winner: Burn Me Twice by Null Reference Studio (Spain)
2nd Place: Fat Bear Week by Team Fat Bears (Finland)
3rd Place: From the Shadows by Gamagora (France)

GDWC 2020 Game Jam Category Top 3:
Winner: Time to Dance! by Savvy Community (France)
2nd Place: Cat Colony Crisis by Devil’s Cider Games (Canada)
3rd Place: Big Fish by TOQGames (USA)

In the Fan Favourite category, the winners were decided by gamers in an open vote.
GDWC 2020 Fan Favourite Category Top 3:
Winner: Receiver 2 by Wolfire Games (USA)
2nd Place: The Pancakes Official Game Show by Dema Studios (Italy)
3rd Place: Haven by The Game Bakers (France)

GDWC Team sends congratulations to all Winning Teams and big thanks to all participants. GDWC would also like to send out thanks to the judges and all sponsors for making the championship possible.

During the Show, GDWC also announced the GDWC 2020 Official Selection, a highlight selection of games that caught the GDWC team’s and judges’ attention during the championship. Check out the Official Selection here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M2eZEU_-Xl4

See all the GDWC 2020 Winners in a showcase video here:

If you missed the almost 8 hour long Awards show, you can watch the recording on the GDWC Youtube channel here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qOfjHIiKXWY

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