FREDERICTON– New Brunswick startup TurboPlay has closed a round of seed funding led by The New Brunswick Innovation Foundation (NBIF), which will help them develop a product they hope will transform the global gaming industry.
TurboPlay is building a personalized video game marketplace for “indie” gamers and game developers to sell their digital games and related downloadable content. TurboPlay will also handle microtransactions within the games using innovative decentralized technology.
The video game industry is valued at $137-billion (U.S.), more than the movie and music businesses combined. Yet, the distribution of games is largely handled by a few large companies. Vince McMullin, president and founder of TurboPlay, says they wanted to create a personalized experience for gamers, while at the same making it easier for independent developers to break into the busy market more easily.
“Independent developers are often self-funded. They often have to compete with large AAA publishers in the industry when they launch their products. We as a company and myself personally have always been very impressed with platforms like Netflix and Spotify,” said McMullin, in an interview with Huddle.
“These platforms essentially have allowed independent content creators to get their content to market in a way that can reach consumers who are looking for it without having to deal with the extreme noise by these big Hollywood publishers. We wanted to take that same kind of model and apply that to the games industry. ”
TurboPlay uses a machine-learning algorithm to interpret user behavior, creating a better customer experience. They also support the use of legitimate tokens (points) for transactions as well as credit cards and PayPal. The company has already secured studios such as Bedtime Games, with almost 400,000 players. The company plans to release its closed beta platform this summer then launch its open beta version near the end of the year.
“Our platform’s essentially built to support independent content creators and independent gamers who are looking for interesting content and not necessarily getting shovel-fed the same kind of content over and over,” said McMullin.
TurboPlay is currently based in Fredericton and has a team of around 14 people, some of whom work remotely across Canada. McMullin says they are keeping the total amount raised in this latest funding round private, but says the funds will be used to hire additional developers and customer support staff as well as for enhanced sales and marketing efforts.
The New Brunswick Innovation Foundation led the round, contributing $200,000.
“TurboPlay’s team is led by veteran entrepreneurs with tremendous experience in the gaming industry and the model they are developing has the potential to disrupt the current approach to video game publishing and distribution,” said Ray Fitzpatrick, director of investment with NBIF, in a release.
“TurboPlay has also attracted a significant number of angel investors to its seed round, further validation of the quality of the company’s team and its business model. We’re excited to watch this New Brunswick company grow.”