Teatime Games, a game studio based in Reykjavik, Iceland, has launched its first game, Hyperspeed, on its face-to-face mobile social gaming platform, Teatime Live.
The company raised $9 million last May from Index Ventures and Atomico. Teatime Live lets users communicate with fellow players with real-time video chat while playing. The launch is part of the company’s efforts to make mobile gameplay a truly social experience and will allow other games studios to build new games on the platform.
The idea is to usher in a new era of human interaction in gaming. The first game launching on the platform is Hyperspeed, a fast and furious space racer where players race against their friends while being able to see each other’s reactions in real time. The sentiment seems similar to Tonk Tonk Games, which raised $2 million yesterday for a platform where you put your face in a fighting game.
Mobile games generated $63.2 billion in revenue in 2018, according to market researcher Newzoo. But Teatime says the social elements of mobile gaming have not kept pace. As the popularity of apps such as Snapchat and Instagram illustrate, image and video are a core part of how people want to interact with their friends on mobile.
By combining live video, augmented reality technology, and mobile gaming, Teatime’s mission is to bring socializing back to the gaming industry by breaking down the barriers of the screen.
Teatime said its platform will put the social back in mobile gaming and offer a face-to-face connection with opponents. Every Teatime game begins by prompting new users to select a “Gameface” — an AR filter that is used during two-way live video as you play.
The first game on the platform is Hyperspeed, a game in which players race their friends in outer space. After choosing a Gameface and starship, the game begins with two-way live video showing both players racing against each other. Reactions to sharp turns, obstacles and lead changes are all captured in real-time, giving players what other mobile games lack: the fun of communicating and seeing opponents’ reactions.
“Everyone at Teatime is incredibly excited to launch a new way to play mobile games, and we hope to see other games studios building interactive experiences on the platform. Hyperspeed is one example of a game using Teatime Live that we’ve created, but we expect to work with other game studios on many different genres” says Thor Fridriksson, cofounder and CEO of Teatime Games, in a statement. “Our games are made to emphasize the social aspect of being able to play together. It will allow the players to communicate through shared experience, the way we used to. Technology has the capability to both entertain us and connect us, and we see no reason why it shouldn’t do both.”
Teatime’s other founders are Gunnar Holmsteinn, chief operating officer; Johann Thorvaldur Bergthorsson, chief technology officer; and Ymir Finnbogason, chief financial officer. They started the New York company in 2017.
Teatime’s experienced group of founders are all former executives of QuizUp, the fastest growing mobile game in 2013 that turned into a worldwide phenomenon with over 100 million players.