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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

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modl.ai unveils Puzzle Maker - an AI-based development tool uniquely designed to support the demand for Match-3 puzzle levels
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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.

eSports

Inaugural Apex Legends event BLAST Titans welcomes Western Digital as sponsor

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Inaugural Apex Legends event BLAST Titans welcomes Western Digital as sponsor
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BLAST Titans (July 23-25 & July 31-August 1) has teamed up with Western Digital’s WD_BLACK™ gaming brand as the sponsor of its Apex Legends event, which will involve Europe’s top 40 teams, competing across two weekends for a €40,000 prize pool.

The partnership will include product giveaways, collaborative content opportunities, branding across the tournament’s digital and physical assets and exclusive activation of the in-game replay segments.

Western Digital’s award winning WD_BLACK™ portfolio of products provides gamers around the world with fast, high-performance storage solutions to upgrade their PC and console gaming experiences.

The inaugural BLAST Titans tournament will see 40 teams, including the likes of Gambit, Alliance and NAVI, competing online over two action packed weekends – the esports tournament organiser’s first event in the popular battle royale game.

Oliver Clarke, Head of Brand Partnerships at BLAST, said: “We are delighted to collaborate with a leading gaming storage brand like WD_BLACK in our first venture into Apex Legends – BLAST Titans promises to be a hugely entertaining and exciting event with the prospect of engaging with the game’s fast growing and highly passionate community of gamers.

“WD_BLACK delivers innovative storage solutions customized for the gamer, and this innovation is something BLAST shares a passion for in creating industry leading esports production and events. We look forward to authentically integrating the brand into the BLAST Titans experience.”

Apex Legends has proved to be a popular game since its introduction in 2019. In April this year, EA announced the game had surpassed 100 million players, a 30% year-on-year growth and its esports event viewership had grown in line with the popularity of the game.

The first weekend (July 23-25) will be a double elimination battle royale event involving 40 teams, which will be made up of the top 20 European teams on recent form, 10 invited wildcard teams and 10 teams via open qualifiers. The second weekend (July 31-August 1) will feature the top 20 teams from weekend one, facing each other in the Arenas mode that was first introduced in the game last month.


BLAST Titans will be broadcast exclusively on Twitch and will be supported by the leading live streaming platform. The host English language broadcast will be live from Twitch.tv/BLASTTV.   

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Gaming

Stack Up! (or dive trying), the Italian Stacking ‘n’ Climbing Party Platformer Launches on Steam Today

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Stack Up! (or dive trying), the Italian Stacking 'n' Climbing Party Platformer Launches on Steam Today
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PixelConflict are pleased to announce that Stack Up! (or dive trying), the team’s debut title and Stacking ‘n’ Climbing Party Platformer, is officially available to purchase on Steam for PC. Whether looking for solo lighthearted stackin’ fun or laser focused, sweat of the brow competition, all budding stackers in search for that ‘one more game’ feeling can enter the Stack Up House right now, right here.

Starting at the bottom of a suspiciously empty house, players jumping into Stack Up! (or dive trying) may quickly realise something’s not quite the way it should be. The colourful walls with its posters and sky-blue windows combined with the outright silly soundtrack and the sometimes psychedelic wallpaper make for a joyous experience… almost. Suddenly, boxes of all shapes and sizes begin to fall  from the ceiling above, marking the true beginning of the game.

In a race against time, players will now need to unpack the colourful furniture inside the falling boxes, stacking them together to erect satisfyingly enormous platforms, as simple or complex, as wide or thin, against the walls or in the centre of the room, in an attempt to stay one step ahead of the rising water, which begins to flow from the busted pipes below. Stack Up! (or dive trying) can be an enticing challenge in solo as much as an exhilarating race against friends around the world, and features easy, medium, hard or customizable difficulty levels meaning first timers and hardcore players alike will find a boot-soaking challenge to get stuck into!

“It’s finally launch day! I cannot hide the fact that the three of us here at PixelConflict are a healthy mix of real anxious and real excited about putting our debut project out into the world” said Davide Jensen, one of the three co-founders and lead programmer at Italian Indie Studio PixelConflict. “Though thanks to all the feedback we’ve received by the press and on social media, we’re sure that people who download Stack Up will have a lot of fun, this is what makes it all worthwhile for us!”

 

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Gaming

gamescom 2021 focuses on the societal potential of games for the post-pandemic era

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gamescom 2021 focuses on the societal potential of games for the post-pandemic era
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  • ‘Games: The New Normal’ is the central theme of gamescom 2021
  • gamescom trends 2021: ‘more games for less money’ and ‘live streaming’
  • Debatt(l)e Royale with the secretaries general of the political parties will be live-streamed on 27 August starting at 12.30 p.m.

Currently, 6 out of 10 Germans play games on a regular basis, as do more than 2.2 billion people worldwide – and there is no denying the huge potential of games. Computer and video games make millions of people happy every day, especially in difficult times like the pandemic, and they have long been used in companies, schools, retirement homes and museums. This year’s gamescom aims to highlight the enormous potential of games with its central theme ‘Games: The New Normal’. After all, the pandemic has clearly demonstrated once again the importance of games in society and the potential that still needs to be developed.

‘Games are a natural part of everyday life for billions of people around the world – for entertainment, work and education. Today, no one is surprised to see concerts, election campaigns and even church services set in computer and video games. This shows the potential of games, which we have only just begun to explore. Likewise, after the Covid-19 pandemic, the more digital and networked world will rely more than ever on games and their technologies,’ says Felix Falk, Managing Director of game. ‘This makes it all the more important now, also politically, to have a clear plan for how we can tap the tremendous potential of games even better in the future. With the recently introduced games strategy, we now have a strong concept at the national level. Now it is up to the next federal government to put concrete measures in place. This is something we also want to talk about at the political opening of gamescom and the Debatt(l)e Royale with the leading representatives of the political parties in Germany.’

 

Trend: ‘more games for less money’

Never before have so many games been available to play completely free of charge. On PCs, consoles and smartphones, millions of players use a wide variety of games in all genres free of charge – alone or with their friends. Still, many fans like to invest money in their free-to-play games, for instance to customise their gaming experience. And even full-price games can now be played as a standard feature of increasingly comprehensive subscription services that are available for just a few euros a month. So, despite a sharp rise in production costs in recent years, it has never been as affordable to play such a wide variety of games as it is today.

 

Trend: ‘live streaming’

Live streaming on platforms like Facebook Gaming, Twitch and YouTube has been one of the fastest-growing phenomena in games culture in recent years. Live streaming events with gaming communities have long since become the campfire of the digital age. This is where today’s creative talents meet their fans for a unique exchange of ideas. Increasingly, the unparalleled combination of live streaming and a community is also being used outside the gaming world, for example for music and sports events, and this is gradually blurring the boundary between creators and audiences. gamescom also relies on the phenomenon of live streaming to delight millions of fans worldwide with shows like gamescom: Opening Night Live and the formats of its many partners.

In recent years, gamescom has emerged as an important platform for political exchange. This year again, there will be several events for this purpose with the political opening of gamescom, the gamescom congress and the Debatt(l)e Royale. These special events will kick off with the political opening on 26 August from 10 a.m. On the same day, the gamescom congress starts, Europe’s leading event devoted to the potential of computer games in a digitalised world. Finally, on 27 August, the Debatt(l)e Royale will take place at 12.30 p.m. The round-table discussion of the secretaries general of the political parties will be live-streamed from the federal state representation of North Rhine-Westphalia in Berlin. This year’s host is German creator LeFloid. In addition to discussing the best games policy for Germany, the focus will be on the community’s questions about the German federal elections. With this initiative, gamescom organisers hope to send a clear message to the community underscoring the importance of taking part in the elections in September.

 

About gamescom

gamescom is the world’s largest event for computer and video games, as well as Europe’s largest business platform for the games industry. In 2021, gamescom will be an exclusively digital event from Wednesday, 25 August, to Friday, 27 August. Events will not take place on-site in Cologne this year. gamescom is jointly organised by Koelnmesse and game – the German Games Industry Association.

 

game – the German Games Industry Association

We are the association of the German games industry. Our members include developers, publishers and many other games industry actors such as esports event organisers, educational establishments and service providers. As a joint organiser of gamescom, we are responsible for the world’s biggest event for computer and video games. We are an expert partner for media and for political and social institutions, and answer questions relating to market development, games culture and media literacy. Our mission is to make Germany the best games location.

 

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