16 May 2018

Our Investment in Teatime Games: Ushering in a new era of real time social gaming

Recently, our Atomico games team outlined their investment thesis in an extensive blog post.

In that post we said that it is still early days for games and there are plenty of areas that have yet to be explored, let alone fully tapped. At recent meetings with companies, we’ve seen a number of cool things being done within social, on PC, with Twitch and YouTube. Boundaries continue to blur with the likes of (from fellow Icelandic games company CCP), which has an in-game open economy, and Worlds Adrift that pushes the importance of game content creation by gamers even further and makes the integration of emerging player stories and sharing them on video platforms such as Twitch central to its marketing.

We also stated that the growing social element of a game is why we think another giant will soon emerge, built on a fusion of gaming and social networking. People are united by games — they always have been. From cards or chess to playing Doom or Civ lization with your friends, as and did back in the early nineties — games are a fundamentally social activity; an ice-breaker between cultures and people as you can see in the growing number of esport live events where you are likely to bump into .

Of course that’s easily forgotten in the era of mobile games, which have become one-to-thousands — a solitary form of entertainment where you don’t know who’s on the other end of your connection. So we believe there will be a new wave of social games coming through — and we expect to see innovations similar to what Tencent has achieved, by adding messaging and other elements to enhance game distribution and eventually in-game communication between players.

We believe that the next breakout opportunity in games goes beyond individual studios and titles and into the fundamental enabling technologies that will power globally engaged networks. Indeed, we believe the next generation of games companies being developed by a new wave of visionary entrepreneurs will become ever more mass market and socially connected.

That is why we are proud to announce our investment in Reykjavik-based Teatime Games today, with Atomico Partner Mattias Ljungman joining the board. Teatime was founded by Thor Fridriksson, Ymir Finnbogason, Johann Bergthorsson and Gunnar Holmsteinn, the creators of QuizUp, a trivia game with more than 100 million users.

Teatime games co-founders Jóhann Þ Bergþórsson, Thor Fridriksson, Ymir Örn Finnbogason & Gunnar Hólmsteinn Gunnarsson

As Thor Fridriksson, CEO and co-founder of Teatime Games, notes “Games have always been an inherently social and multi-layer experience. Cards, board games, arcades, and consoles come to life through the interaction between people, opponents, and the audience.

The overwhelming majority of mobile games, however, are single player experiences, while most multiplayer mobile games are turn-based and are played against invisible opponents. We are building Teatime Games on the premise that mobile games players crave a more social and personalized experience than they are currently getting, where communicating with friends and fellow players in real time not only enhances a game but is as important as the game itself. That’s why we’re developing the first real time communication gaming platform for mobile.”

We believe that Thor, Ymir, Gunnar and Jóhann represent that next generation of European games founders, and we are proud to partner with them to help make their global ambitions a reality.

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