People are always looking for the next trend in mobile gaming. It could be “playable data.”
That’s the term that Stuart Duncan is using to describe what his new studio, Icejam. Duncan previously worked on hit free-to-play mobile games Trade Nations and Simpsons: Tapped Out before selling his company, Bright Games, to EA Mobile. This new development house thinks it’s found something new to help it stand out in what market research firm Newzoo predicts is a $30 billion mobile gaming market.
So, what exactly is playable data?
“Playable data is 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,” Duncan, who is the founder and chief executive officer of Icejam, told GamesBeat. “I know this is a broad definition, and almost anything could fit. We see data as effectively a new and widely available valuable raw material that is being massively underexploited. Icejam believes that we are 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. While other game developers chase synchronous multiplayer and push ever more triangles in pursuit of engagement, our way forward is engagement though relevance to a player’s life.”
“Our games contain many touchpoints back to a player’s life,” Duncan continued. “Without going into too much detail about our first game that we’ll be announcing soon, when when aspects of your daily life can remind you to take your phone out of your pocket to play rather that responding to a barrage of annoying notifications, we think many players will find that compelling.”
Besides that, Icejam was cryptic on how exactly playable data will work. We also don’t know anything about Icejam’s first game, other than that it will debut in 2016.