mod.io, the leading platform connecting game studios with community driven user-generated content (UGC), has secured US$26m in its latest round of investment. The funds will be used to further build upon a vision to evolve collaborative digital play, a passion shared by new investors, led by Tencent, who join LEGO Ventures, OIF Ventures and existing investors Makers Fund, Play Ventures, Sequoia Capital India’s Surge and GameTech Ventures in the round.
Within an industry set to surpass $180b annually in 2021, popularity of UGC in video games continues to grow rapidly. mod.io predicts that by 2025, $1 in every $10 spent on video games will be spent on UGC, a 400 percent increase of estimated spend in 2021. UGC would then top $25b globally by 2025. Yet so much of the value modders create lives on the fringes – out of reach for most studios and players. By making mod support easy for studios to adopt and embed within their games and communities, mod.io enables and empowers the next generation of creator-driven economies.
“The metaverse will be built with UGC as foundational components. Player-made content, hand in hand with professional content, made by game studios. Our goal at mod.io is to enable games to launch their own creator economy, providing studios with the building blocks wanted and needed by players,” said mod.io CEO and Co-Founder Scott Reismanis.
As digital play transitions into increasingly social play experiences, game studios are recognising the value and the engagement mods provide. The shift is driven by a growing community demand for deeper personalization, delivering breadth of content and creativity. By actively embracing UGC, studios are choosing to focus on nurturing a stronger relationship with their players.
Bo Wang, Corporate Vice President of Tencent Games said,
“At Tencent, we believe that UGC drives innovation in gaming. Many of the largest video game genres today started out as UGC, or mods, built by enthusiasts on top of existing products. For over two decades, Scott and his team have been instrumental in supporting the growth of this community. As a stakeholder in the future of this industry, Tencent is proud to support mod.io on its path to unlock creativity across the gaming ecosystem.”
Rob Lowe, Managing Director of Digital Play, LEGO Ventures said,”The awesome team at mod.io have created a UGC platform that allows any game to be rebuilt and adapted by the player. We believe this is a great example of the core LEGO idea applied to digital play, and we are extremely excited to support mod.io as they further expand the platform, community and range of games utilising this highly promising technology.”
“Our shared vision with our investors is to help game studios harness the power of their communities’ creativity. Securing this milestone investment helps us develop our existing platform, expand our team, and continue to provide the best modding service for developers, creators and players alike,” adds Reismanis.
Since its launch in 2019, mod.io has been used by more than 80 games including Deep Rock Galactic, Humankind and SnowRunner to grow their creator communities, pioneering the adoption of mods in games spanning PC, console, mobile and VR platforms. Each month, more than 20 million pieces of unique user-generated content are distributed using mod.io to over 3 million players. Annually, that’s hundreds of millions of pieces of content, made by fans, shared with their community, and supported by the developer whose product continually evolves.
Game studios praise the role mod.io has played in helping to further a connection with their community. Over 500 mods have been downloaded 1.4 million times since Ghost Ship Games’ Deep Rock Galactic launched in-game mod support on Steam and Xbox in September 2021.
“Collaborating with mod.io has been a great experience, and we are very satisfied with the integration and player experience mod.io as a platform provides to the game. It also became clear to us that mod.io is working hard to constantly improve their platform, which shows significant promise for the future of the service,” said Søren Lundgaard, CEO Ghost Ship Studios, creators of Deep Rock Galactic.
Fast facts about mod.io and UGC
20 million pieces of user-generated content are distributed monthly using mod.io, to over 3 million players.
In 2021, mod.io experienced 300% YoY growth with 177 million mods downloaded year to date.
mod.io was the first to launch cross-platform mod support in SnowRunner, Skater XL, Space Engineers and TABS on Xbox and PlayStation as well as PC.
mod.io supports more than 80 different games, across 11 platforms and stores.
5 Rewarding Career Opportunities to Pursue in the Gaming Industry
There’s a wide range of career opportunities in the burgeoning video gaming industry. Any of these job positions makes for an excellent career choice if you decide to pursue them. The world of gaming can be quite a competitive region, where there are tons of professional gamers all looking to pursue a career in the gaming industry. Creativity and the passion for gaming are the very crucial things to have in order to work in this industry.
With the plethora of career opportunities within the gaming industry, spending time with your Nintendo consoles, following your favorite wrestlers, or previewing NBA bets won’t be your only way to be passionate about gaming – you could help create an actual video game and turn that into a career that you find rewarding. Listed below are five rewarding career opportunities in the gaming industry.
Quality Assurance Tester For Games
Okay, first things first. Game testing doesn’t mean someone spends their work hours playing video games like an end-user would. It’s serious work. The game tester would play games while under construction, way before they become finished products. They would test the unfinished games to see whether they have certain bugs that needs to be fixed.
The tester’s main responsibility is to play the most recent version or ‘build’ of the game and check if everything in the game is working as it is tended to. They’d have to report any defect found while ‘playing’ the build version. Those functions are referred to as quality assurance – ensuring that a game comes out with the highest quality.
A daily routine in a QA tester’s work schedule involves testing games and correspondence with the game production team. Some QA testers function alone with the games build (called ‘black box’ testers), while other testers may be able to access the source code and assist the developers with debugging (also called the white box or grey box).
The QA tester serves an important role in the gaming industry because they’re the final defense line of the production chain before the games get to the players. Failure on the tester’s part could mean that lots of gamers will be disappointed when they find their game is filled with bugs and crashes.
Video Game Programmer
Video game programmers use programming languages like C++ and Java to pre-inform the computer on how to turn all the content and artwork inputs into a working game. In the most technical role in the industry, most programmers either have a degree in computer science or learn programming at a game company.
A typical day for a video game programmer involves coding, running the codes, receiving correspondence from QA testers, and implementing game features. Programmers usually have different sub-specialization teams that concentrate on predefined areas. For instance, while one team deals with the AI and characters, another deals with the server code, and another oversees graphics.
Video game programmers need a thorough technical knowledge of their field, but they also need much focus and patience while in the studio. Generally, programmers are the highest-earning professionals in the gaming industry.
Video Game Concept Artist
The role of a video game artist requires a strong artistic talent. It’s one of the most challenging roles in the gaming industry. The ideal artist is good with different art tools which help in creating digital content, like Autodesk Maya or Photoshop.
The concept artist envisions and plans the ambiance and look of the game’s scenes and characters. They’re responsible for the game’s style and look. They also are the first to draw the environments, enemies and player characters. These professionals work with a brief from the producer, while their sketches help 3D artists, producers, programmers and publishers have a better overview of the game.
Voice Acting For Games
Voice acting is increasingly becoming an important part of game development, raising the bar on many games into memorable experiences. Video game actors work with voice directors and game developers to enliven engaging narratives, while working at their homes or in recording studios. Video game voice artists could get employed through auditions and outreach, before delivering high-quality performances in longer voice recording sessions.
Video game voice acting is an intensely collaborative process which usually requires a fundamental knowledge of sound editing and sound engineering for those operating outside a home studio.
Gaming Content Creator
To become a video game content creator, you’ll need a gaming machine where you’ll play games. It’s easy if you’re working with a PC. Simply opt for OBS and play games that way. If you prefer working with a console, then you might need a dedicated capture card.
Then you’ll need a top-quality microphone and webcam so your online followers can see your face. Asides streaming their gaming contents to followers, gaming content creators also network with other content creators to access new audiences or environments. Of course, content creators need social media, because that’s where the followers are. It definitely pays to have a presence on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat as a video game content creator.
The above listed are some of the most rewarding career opportunities in the gaming industry. With the rate of increase in the industry’s market capitalization, the number of jobs is potentially on the rise. If you’re considering a career in this industry, you may want to look at any of the careers above.
Sandsoft Opens New Studio in Riyadh
Sandsoft, an innovative mobile-first game developer, publisher and investor, has announced the opening of Sandsoft Riyadh, a mobile games development studio based in the heart of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA). Creating over 80 exciting career opportunities in the region, the studio is the first step in Sandsoft’s significant investment in the Middle East and Northern Africa (MENA) gaming ecosystem.
Sandsoft is driven by seasoned games industry veterans, including its CEO David Fernandez, who whilst at King expanded the legendary Candy Crush and Bubble Witch IPs; as well as Rovio veteran and Head of Publishing, Miikka Lindgren.
Sandsoft has recently invested in major IP-linked mobile titles including Rambo: Strike Force, and Pacific Rim: Breach Wars, and has recently started to invest significantly into new and emerging technologies and projects in the gaming space such as blockchain.
Sandsoft Riyadh will be led by Yahsir Qureshi, who has more than a decade of experience across some of the most successful AAA and free-to-play games ever released, most recently while building FIFA’s Ultimate Team at EA. The Riyadh studio will act as a worldwide headquarters for Sandsoft, which is committed to nurturing local talent through a first-of-its-kind paid internship programme in the MENA region, Press Start. Launching this year and targeting emergent KSA talent who are passionate about entering the global games industry, the programme will allow a select group of game creators to develop their own games with the support and resources of the wider Sandsoft organisation. Press Start creators will benefit from the guidance of Sandsoft’s seasoned games industry figures while keeping the autonomy to decide what game they want to develop.
Sandsoft is the gaming arm of Ajlan & Bros Holding company, one of the region’s largest corporations, providing the Riyadh Studio with access to unrivalled infrastructure.
“Sandsoft Riyadh will contribute to making Saudi Arabia a global gaming powerhouse, in alignment with the national strategy for games and esports that His Royal Highness Prince Mohammed bin Salman recently launched, as a pivotal and important step to start a new phase for this sector, following Kingdom’s Vision 2030. Sandsoft’s studio in Riyadh will be an important part of this vision by identifying and upskilling MENA talent, and combining it with the very best of global games industry expertise to create an international gaming dream team across development, publishing, and investment,” Abdulaziz Alajlan, Managing Director of Sandsoft, said.
“We have established a world-class mobile gaming team that’s poised to position Sandsoft as the premier MENA games company, and we’re excited to be expanding our local footprint. A key mission is to discover and attract the best and brightest local game development talent, and to nurture it with the expertise of leaders from gaming’s top international firms,” David Fernandez, CEO at Sandsoft, said.
October Top 10 Games ranked in the Game Development World Championship 2022
Another month has passed and another set of Top 10 Games have been ranked in the Game Development World Championship 2022 (GDWC). All competing games are up for the monthly ranking by public player interest.
Seeking Light by a student development team named Lucky Dodo Games from ESAT Innovation School in Spain took the first place in latest monthly Top 10 Ranking for GDWC 2022.
Seeking Light is an action adventure game in isometric perspective with a focus on boss fights. Players fight their fears as Sunny, a girl immersed in her subconscious world through meditation, and overcome the demons of their past.
2nd place: COGNAC Metaverse by Cognac Ultimate Devs Team Cognac is an all-weather TDM game with photo-realistic maps created using real-life environments.
3rd place: One Last Game by Ateneo Animation
The game is about a young kid’s last day with his friends in their neighborhood. The gameplay features a couple of traditional games in the Philippines.
4th place: Hablon Dawani by Ateneo Animation
Hablon Dawani is a 3D exploration game where the player plays Dawani, a weaver from a village named Iraya.
5th place: 20 Minutes Till Dawn by flanne
20 Minutes Till Dawn is a roguelike, shoot’em up where you mow down endless hordes of monstrous baddies.
6th place: End of Despair by Trioskaz
Narrative horror roguelike with stickers, where a clerk caught at the edge between reality and nightmare is trying to solve his personal problems.
7th place: Cowardly Heroes by Iris Edge Studios
Cowardly Heroes is a free fun arcade casual game for mobile devices. It features many challenges, many fun twists and the cherry on top of the cake is its pixel-art style.
8th place: MetalBorn by Black Goats Games Studio
Techno has taken over your neighborhood. Honor your metal god Kilmister, arm yourself up to the baffles, raise the volume and show these punks which is the music that makes the shells shake.
9th place: Jacktus Green: The Fluffy, the Spiky and the Spicy by The Bronchos – Games
Chase Guindilla to retrieve your beloved Cattus! Jump, dash, and hook around in this 2.5D platformer.
10th place: Dreams of Adventure by Farting Rainbow Production
Old school, retro, pixel and hardcore game. Game where choice maters and impacts your game depending on your decisions.
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