Artie has raised $10 million to make instant mobile games that can be played directly inside social media, video, and messaging platforms in a way that bypasses the app stores that take their 30% cut of game revenues.
Artie started its life as a platform to make intelligent augmented reality avatars. But AR hasnt blossomed as quickly as expected, and so the company has pivoted from making digital AR avatars to making instant games with its cartoon-style avatars. And since these games can be played natively in social apps, message systems, or video platforms without any additional app downloads, they eliminate the need for apps.
Arties technology enables mobile games to be played directly inside media platforms without any additional app downloads, applications programming interface (API) access, or integration needed, said CEO Ryan Horrigan in an interview with GamesBeat. The company is focused on making mobile games easier to discover and play for consumers while improving the economics of mobile games for developers and creators.
The good thing is that players dont have to go through app stores and so developers dont have to surrender a 30% fee to the likes of Apple or Google Play.The game industry has long yearned for an alternate distribution solution to app stores and their fees. Thats one reason why Fortnite maker Epic Games is suing Apple right now. Artie also plans to open a new revenue stream for celebrities, athletes, music artists, influencers, and creators by enabling them to bring branded games directly to their audiences. Artie has quietly built its platform over the past 18 months with plans to unveil it to the world along with an initial slate of games later this spring.
We made the change well over a year ago, and this also happened months before Epic and Apple clashed, Horrigan said. We were already thinking about the financial constraints of app stores and the pain that publishers were facing. We knew that there were really two problems. Theres 30% off the top. But theres also the rising cost of paid media every year, because of the saturation of app stores. Its more and more expensive year over year to acquire players.
Above: Ryan Horrigan (left) and Armando Kirwin are the founders of Artie.
Image Credit: Artie
Arties latest backers include Zynga founder, Mark Pincus; Kevin Durant and Rich Kleimans Thirty Five Ventures; music mogul Scooter Brauns Raised In Space; Shutterstock founder Jon Oringer; Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss; ByteDances largest early backer, Susquehanna International Group; Harris Blitzer Sports and Entertainment plus The Sixers Lab; Manuel Bronstein, vice president of product at Google; and YouTube founder, Chad Hurley.
Additional backers include early SpaceX, Uber, and Niantic backer Cyan Banister; Founders Fund; Warner Music Group; game industry thought-leader Matthew Ball; Niv Drors Shrug Capital; and top executives from Amazon, Twitter, and Square.
A key part of YouTubes early growth strategy was making sure our videos could be shared and played anywhere without friction. Artie is taking the same approach for high-quality mobile games, said Hurley in a statement.
This latest capital will enable Artie to continue advancing its technology platform and launch an initial slate of games in 2021. The games will likely be playable on platforms such as TikTok, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, Twitch, and YouTube.
Artie has forged several key partnerships with celebrities, athletes, and influencers for its first games. They include a choose-your-own-adventure-style mobile game with a big superhero intellectual property, a puzzle game based on Alice in Wonderland, a multiplayer/social virtual beer pong game, and a collaborative party game. Horrigan hopes to launch three games this year.
Above: Arties games can be played in social media.
Image Credit: Artie
Previously, Artie was trying to make virtual beings that were rendering in Instagram and could spread across the web. But they saw that games was a bigger opportunity and a much bigger market.This meant the company had to de-emphasize the virtual being AI tech.
Horrigan said the company originally wanted to create intelligent avatars for gaming. Then it pivoted over the last 18 months to its new take on instantly playable games.
Apple doesnt allow companies to easily monetize iMessage games, and they arent very shareable across platforms. But using the Unity game engine gives Artie the ability to deliver a better experience. The game can download some parts of the experience from the cloud, but for the most part the difficult job rendering the graphics, is done on the phone itself, using the phones graphics capability, Kirwin said.
To share a game, you simply share a link on social media such as Twitter. A friend can click on that link and immediately start playing the game. Kirwin said the tech streams assets and control data from the cloud to the phone, but the rendering happens on the phone. That means that the cloud data doesnt clog up the bandwidth to the smartphone and use up costly data, but the game can tap cloud-based updates.
Were still trying to push that limit, but we know that its already obviously superior to the status quo, Kirwin said. This new approach is very exciting.
The chance for having a viral hit on the social platforms could be much higher, as its so easy to share a link for a game. That lowers the costs of user acquisition.
You can share a game from the Facebook ecosystem to a friend on TikTok or Apple, Kirwin said. We bring you the look and fee of an App Store game, but with the open web.
Above: Artie is making an Alice in Wonderland instant game.
Image Credit: Artie
And unlike cloud gaming services from major technology companies that stream video to players, Arties approach does not suffer from latency issues on mobile connections and is nearly 10 times more cost-efficient to operate, Horrigan said.
We felt our version of instant games would differentiate us from cloud gaming and modern web games, he said. We touch a sweet spot for mobile.
You cant use them to make marquee mobile games, Horrigan said.
The Artie platform also enables optional next-gen gameplay features, including voice, texting, and camera input, using proprietary AI technology built from the ground up for games. The company believes that AI will play a critical role in the future of gaming by unlocking more immersive and personalized gaming experiences driving up engagement.
Artie plans to release a software development kit (SDK) and open its platform to all game developers and creators.The Artie team of 17 people consists of engineers and game developers from Activision/Blizzard, Jam City, Playtika, Infinity Ward, Disney, Snap, Mozilla, and Facebook.
So far, the company cant play high twitch games with a lot of interaction, such as a shooter game like Fortnite or a fighting game. But it can run most other genres.
We can deliver something that feels as good as a Nintendo Switch game, but it requires no hardware or app download whatsoever, he said. Its approaching console quality from one or two generations ago.
- 11 new Android games from the last week: The best, worst, and everything in between (3/29/21 - 4/4/21) - Android Police - April 4th, 2021
- Classic games like chess and Sudoku are now easier to play on iPhones and iPads - TechRadar - April 4th, 2021
- SwitchArcade Round-Up: 'Dungeon & Puzzles', 'Stick Fight: The Game', and Today's Other New Releases and Sales - Touch Arcade - April 4th, 2021
- The Three Best and Worst Games of March 2021 - COGconnected - April 4th, 2021
- Google Play Pass now has over 800 games, apps - HT Tech - April 4th, 2021
- The Easiest Ways to Boost Your Gamerscore from the Xbox Games of March 2021 - TheXboxHub - April 4th, 2021
- Game of the Month: March 2021's Best PS5, PS4 Games - Pure PlayStation - April 4th, 2021
- This Weeks VR Game Roundup: New Archery Game, Kitchen Island VR - VR Fitness Insider - April 4th, 2021
- Best New Android Games This Week: The Wake, Quick Fire, Dual Summoners, and More - DroidGamers - April 4th, 2021
- It Takes Two review: This is how it runs on PC - Laptop Mag - April 4th, 2021
- Pillars of Active Aging - Old School Puzzles And Games To Promote Active Aging Brain Health - LNP | LancasterOnline - March 4th, 2021
- Tvinnr: Basic tips to help you enjoy this relaxing puzzle game - Pocket Gamer - March 4th, 2021
- Maquette is a neat puzzle game that packs an emotional punch - The Next Web - March 4th, 2021
- Our most anticipated indie games of 2021 - Rock Paper Shotgun - March 4th, 2021
- MonkeyBox 2: Cards! is an upcoming puzzle adventure game for iOS from TheCodingMonkeys - Pocket Gamer - March 4th, 2021
- Play with Gravity in Gravifire on Xbox and Switch - TheXboxHub - March 4th, 2021
- Lovin Games Weekly - There is a new Aliens game on the way - Lovin Dublin - March 4th, 2021
- It Takes Two Isn't Focusing on Replayability, Won't Have Collectibles - GameRant - March 4th, 2021
- The Video Games to Play This Month: Get Tiny with Maquette, It Takes Two, and More! - The Portland Mercury - March 4th, 2021
- 50% Kemco RPG and Puzzle Games on PS Store - GLYFE Nation - March 4th, 2021
- Worst Pokmon Spin-off Games Nintendo Should Never Remake - Screen Rant - March 4th, 2021
- Super Rare Games giving immersive puzzle game Creaks a physical Switch release next week - GoNintendo - March 4th, 2021
- Every Uncharted Game, Ranked Worst To Best | Screen Rant - Screen Rant - March 4th, 2021
- 10 Games We Need To See On PSVR2 That Could Actually Happen On PS5 - TheGamer - March 4th, 2021
- PC Review - 'Bridge Constructor: The Walking Dead' - WorthPlaying.com - March 4th, 2021
- The Next Hawks Coach Will Have to Solve the Trae Young Puzzle - The Ringer - March 4th, 2021
- Sponsored: 5 games that make you think like a programmer - Gamasutra - March 4th, 2021
- Inked review - "If only looks were everything" | Articles - Pocket Gamer - March 4th, 2021
- From Portal to Witcher 3: The games people cheat at the most! - European Gaming Industry News - March 4th, 2021
- 5 Best PC Boxing games to play in 2021 - Gameranx - March 4th, 2021
- What Are the Most Popular Types of Mobile Game? | TechQuila - TechQuila - February 19th, 2021
- The Legend of Zelda games ranked! - The Guardian - February 19th, 2021
- Wordsmyth is a beautiful daily word game coming soon to iOS and Android - Pocket Gamer - February 19th, 2021
- Review: She Remembered Caterpillars - Movies Games and Tech - February 19th, 2021
- Fortnite Creative gets callout for puzzles and platformers - AltChar - February 19th, 2021
- Top 10 games to download and play first on your new Apple iPhone - Gadget Bridge - February 19th, 2021
- Outer Wilds launches this summer on Nintendo Switch - Shacknews - February 19th, 2021
- Steam Developer Banned After Trying to Trick Users About Positive Reviews - VICE - February 19th, 2021
- Global Games and Puzzles Market 2020 Industry Analysis, Key Drivers, Business Strategy, Opportunities and Forecast to 2025 Express Keeper - Express... - February 19th, 2021
- Next 10 Classic Horror Games To Play If You Liked The Medium - TheGamer - February 17th, 2021
- Game stores seeing an increase in new customers since the COVID-19 pandemic - WeAreGreenBay.com - February 17th, 2021
- The First 10 Games Released On The PS2 (In Chronological Order) - TheGamer - February 17th, 2021
- Zynga Expects Its Mobile Gaming Empire to Grow More Than 30% In 2021 - Motley Fool - February 17th, 2021
- 8 Underrated Open-World Games (That Came Out In The Last 5 Years) - GameRant - February 17th, 2021
- The Room 4: Old Sins Is Out For PC, And Prettier Than Ever - Kotaku - February 17th, 2021
- Knight's Retreat Review - Chess but not! - TheXboxHub - February 17th, 2021
- Soapbox: We Were Here, the Free PS4 Game No One Will Play with Me - Push Square - February 17th, 2021
- PS5 : HuniePop 2, another title that joins Twitch's list of banned games - Explica - February 17th, 2021
- 10 VR Games That Don't Give You Motion Sickness - TheGamer - February 17th, 2021
- 10 Things You Never Knew About The Origins Of Tetris | Game Rant - GameRant - February 17th, 2021
- Games of the week: The Medium, Spire Blast, Encodya and Solas 128 - Inverness Courier - February 17th, 2021
- Nokia 5.4 review this ones for the stock Android fans on a tight budget - Business Insider India - February 17th, 2021
- Thorny Puzzle Title Room To Grow Is Coming To PC This Month - Bleeding Cool News - February 14th, 2021
- Imaginative Puzzle Game QV Heading To Steam | TheGamer - TheGamer - February 14th, 2021
- 10 Open World Games That Have No Combat | Game Rant - GameRant - February 14th, 2021
- Schell Games Talks I Expect You To Die 2 And VR's Future - UploadVR - February 14th, 2021
- ConnecTank Is a Multiplayer Tank Battle and Puzzle Game Coming This Fall - SuperParent - February 14th, 2021
- Best Valentines Day games for couples: top titles to play with your loved one - TechRadar - February 14th, 2021
- Outer Wilds And The Best Games That Use Time Loops - TheGamer - February 14th, 2021
- The Most Peaceful Games of 2020, Ranked | ScreenRant - Screen Rant - February 14th, 2021
- Best new mobile games on iOS and Android this February - Metro.co.uk - February 14th, 2021
- PS4 Update: Download This New F2P PlayStation 4 Game - RealSport101 - February 14th, 2021
- The Best Free PC Games of Multiple Category in 2021 - TechnoSports - February 14th, 2021
- The DeanBeat: Has the game industry hit its peak with crazy valuations or just begun its growth? - VentureBeat - February 14th, 2021
- Video game review: 'The Medium' a messy horror game with inventive puzzles - telegraphherald.com - February 14th, 2021
- TouchArcade Game of the Week: 'Knightin'+' - Touch Arcade - February 14th, 2021
- Numskull Games Offers Sneak Peek At Upcoming Titles, Reveals RICO London - TheGamer - February 14th, 2021
- Recursive Puzzle Game, Maquette, to be Released in March - mxdwn.com - February 11th, 2021
- Tackle thorny problems in 'Room to Grow' a plant pushing puzzle game launching on Steam for PC & Mac 25th February 2021! - Gamasutra - February 11th, 2021
- PS5 and PS4 free game bonus: Grab a friend and download co-op puzzler for free - Express - February 11th, 2021
- Somethings Fishy About This Steam Games Very Positive Reviews - Kotaku - February 11th, 2021
- Human Fall Flat Was Originally Designed To Be Portal Meets Limbo - TheGamer - February 11th, 2021
- Tilting Point will invest up to $60 million in user acquisition for Loop Games Match 3D game - VentureBeat - February 11th, 2021
- Every App And VR Game Coming To Oculus App Lab For Quest - UploadVR - February 11th, 2021
- Nuts Review- Hiding Above the Trees, Looking For Squirrels - DualShockers - February 11th, 2021
- A bit about our currently nameless game company, and what we're working on at the moment - Gamasutra - February 11th, 2021
- 'Breath Of The Wild' Reinvented Zelda Games. 'Bowser's Fury' Does That For Mario - Mashable India - February 11th, 2021
- Slipways was the best demo in the Steam Games Festival, but it's gone now - Rock Paper Shotgun - February 9th, 2021
- Move Over, Mother 3 - THESE Nintendo Games Should Be Localized Too - CBR - Comic Book Resources - February 9th, 2021
- Solve puzzles in a recursive world where everything is simultaneously tiny and massive - PC Gamer - February 9th, 2021