With some estimates pegging the global video game industry at a valuation of $83 billion by 2016, its no surprise why we’re continually seeing startups pop up everywhere, trying to monetize any part of the addictive pastime.
Two Canadians and a third Irish cofounder have come together to create Player.Me, a social network for gamers where they can grow their reach, promote themselves and connect with other awesome gamers and game lovers. Cofounders Sean Fee, Mak Sok and Jamil Velji are actually located all around the world currently, with Fee in Dublin and Sok and Velji in Thailand.
On Monday the site finally released its open beta after months of coding. Fee described it as a platform dedicated to gamers to centralize all of their online activity into one place. “We’re trying to create a more open platform that drives a lot of traffic out to the gamers’ other sites, so they get more Twitter followers, more Facebook followers and more exposure.”
Until now, Fee explained that fans of gamers usually must visit several different sites to get their updates, like Facebook, YouTube, Twitch and other social networks. On Player though, “with one click on Player they’re effectively following them across all those platforms.”
Moreover, he said that most competitors in the space right now will generally try to keep a user within their platform rather than linking out to their other channels. Player has channels where gamers can upload their Youtube and Twitch channels to their profile, automatically displaying the content, “so were effectively creating a little bit of a library.”
Since Monday the response among beta user has been “extremely positive” as the startup eyes a full launch in April along with both iOS and Android apps.
For now the guys have enough cash to support the business for the next nine months, but eventually monetization will obviously become important. Fee said they’ll likely go after affiliate sales with indie game developers (of which Player has had discussions with many). “If we’re able to get indie game developers a nice targeted audience of people who like a similar game to what they’re about to release, they might pay per acquisition, similar to the “cost per install” (CPI) model of Facebook,” he explained.
On the subject of a remotely-working team, I asked Fee when they crew might permanently settle in one space. Would it be in Dublin or could they choose Montreal, given Quebec’s favourable treatment towards game developers (Player might not qualify for some of the tax credits, but being in the environment would be positive for any company in the space).
Initially it looks like the guys will finish the full launch, go after a seed funding round and eventually settle in Dublin. We’ve known for a while that several of the big Silicon Valley tech companies like Google, Apple, Facebook, and Amazon all have offices in Dublin, largely due to the low corporate tax. Fee said in addition those companies are lured to Ireland because it’s an english-speaking country with close access to the EU, along with a highly-educated population. Not only does the country treat the larger companies well, but Fee said it does a lot for small startups as well.
As for a potential relocation to Montreal, the CEO said its not out of the cards. “Mak is from Montreal and he loves it. I wouldn’t actually bet aainst that,” he said.