Big Data mobile gaming startup Icejam raises $2.13m Series A


Big Data mobile gaming startup Icejam Games, Inc. has raised CAD$3 million ($2.13 million) Series A in a round led by Build Ventures.

Founded in 2014, Icejam integrates real-world “Playable Data” into its games through utilizing any dataset or combination of datasets, whether live or historical, global or personal such as data generated by on-device sensors, that can be used for or contribute to the content of a game.

The company believes Playable Data makes mobile gaming a more interesting and wider reaching proposition, such as the ability to contain touchpoints back to a player’s life by integrating real-time, real-world data streams into the mobile game to dramatically enhance gameplay while solving key engagement and retention dilemmas that face the mobile games industry.

Icejam argues that we are currently at an inflection point in history with the ubiquity of sensor-rich mobile devices capable of amazing content combined with the sheer volume of freely available quality live data, from weather and global stocks to the migration patterns of hummingbirds, all of which can be applied through the use of engagement that is relevant to a player’s life.

“While the traditional mobile games market is consolidating and investments are down, there remains great interest in transformative technologies that play with the boundaries of imagination and reality,” Icejam Founder & Chief Executive Officer Stuart Duncan said in a statement sent to SiliconANGLE. “Today we see this with happening with investments in augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), and now Playable Data. While AR and VR might be a consumer proposition someday, Playable Data is here now… and it’s great.”

Interesting idea

While we would traditionally think about Big Data primarily from an enterprise perspective in terms of using it to reveal patterns, trends, and associations, there’s no reason why those very same data sets can’t be used in gaming, and that’s exactly what Icejam is doing.

“In the context of a free-to-play game as a service, lifetime value (LTV) is on every executive’s lips. meaning: How much money can we extract from a user?” the company explains.

“But in a service that we expect to run for years, we should be asking what value are we providing over the course of a player’s time with us? The answer too often is more of the same. A simple repetitive game loop that gets pretty stale pretty fast. Playable data allows our games to literally evolve as the real world data changes over time. It’s our job to make sure that the data is massaged and finessed in a way to make great gameplay.”

Including the new round, Icejam has raised CAD$3.5 million ($2.48 million) to date.

The company said it would use the new funds to continue development of its Playable Data platform and prepare its first game for market introduction.

Image credit: Icejam/screenshot