Icejam receives millions for game development

Jim Day jday@theguardian.pe.ca
Published on January 27, 2016

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NIGEL ARMSTRONG/THE GUARDIAN

Jason Wentzel of icejam works on a project Tuesday at the company's Charlottetown office. The mobile game development company that has offices in Toronto and P.E.I. recently obtained $3 million in funding to carry on developing its Playable Data Platform technology that uses live data streams in a mobile game environment.

NIGEL ARMSTRONG

Fueled by millions of dollars in funding, a Charlottetown-based mobile games company is looking to more than double its staff.

icejam has secured $3 million from Halifax-based Build Ventures, a company that focuses on early stage technology companies across the Atlantic region.

Patrick Keefe, general partner of Build Ventures, joins icejam's board of directors.

icejam issued a statement Tuesday saying funding will help develop the company's proprietary new Playable Data Platform and prepare its first game for market later this year.

He expects the company to "easily double'' the current staff of 13 in Charlottetown over the next six months, adding to its team of designers, developers and marketing personnel.

icejam has now raised a total of $3.5 million in capital funding.

Located in Charlottetown and Toronto, the game studio received $707,095 in provincial government funding last year.

icejam's Playable Data Platform integrates real-time, real-world data streams into the mobile game to enhance gameplay while solving key engagement and retention dilemmas that face the mobile games industry.

"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,'' says Stuart Duncan, founder and CEO of icejam.

Duncan pioneered free-to-play (F2P) mobile games with his previous company, Bight Games, with the likes of The Simpsons: Tapped Out, which is estimated to have generated more than $130 (US) million in revenue.