Gamers Rejoyce! AI Tool Matches Players with Mobile Games
With more than 1.2 million titles available on Apple and Android devices, the problem video gamers face today isn’t the lack of choice ‒ it’s having more than they can handle.
Enter ANDi. The one-and-a-half-year-old UK firm that recently launched a “personal mobile gaming assistant” Gameway that helps users find new games based on their preferences and provides a single, convenient platform from which to launch them.
The London-based company says it takes the typical player anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour to find a new game. And after all that effort, 72% of the games get deleted after two uses.
By leveraging artificial intelligence and machine learning, ANDi is hoping that its Gameway app will lead to better matches, in a fraction of the time it usually takes to find a game.
“Data is collected from the games our users swipe, install and play,” says Benjamin Woolf, ANDi’s co-founder and CEO. “Machine learning algorithms process the data and display the right games to the right people at the appropriate times.” The company calls the feature “Tinder-For-Games,” a nod to the popular dating app.
Woolf, a graduate of Leeds Business University, says the the software can recommend games in under a minute, and with greater success. When using ANDi, people keep games for 25% longer, on average, than competitors.
An untapped market
The direction the company took was, its founders admit, somewhat accidental.
When Woolf and friend Sam Koch, who has a computer science background, volunteered together at a 2015 TechCrunch convention, they talked about the idea of creating a new mobile game together.
But when they visited the Google Play store to see what was already on the market, they found themselves swimming in a sea of choices. With that amount of selection, zeroing in on a particular type of game was virtually impossible. What people needed, they believed, was a more efficient way to find what they were looking for.
In a matter of just a few months, the pair was able to cultivate a team and put out the first prototype. Woolf says the community user base has grown by more than 15% month-over-month since being released.
The company’s speed-to-market is the result of a “work hard, play hard” approach. Product development centers on intense two-week “sprints,” in which the team discusses a new feature, designs it and then carries out a test so it can analyze results afterward.
The founders also carve out time for team-building. Employees regularly get together for team lunches where they can air out their concerns. Once a month, staff members will huddle around a video game console and hold friendly competitions.
“All this builds collaboration and fearless positivity, which allows all members individually to want to give their all,” suggests Woolf.
Already, ANDi’s gaming assistant is shaking up the industry, he says. “The larger game studios, publishers and other media sites are concerned how this could equalize the market for the small niche game developers and medium-sized companies who are not able to gain the same face-time due to financial restrictions,” he explains.
Thanks to its innovative solution, the company has recently earned multiple high-level honors. Among them: “Most Innovative Mobile Gaming Application 2017” by Softech and “Best Free Gaming App” at the TMT Global Excellence Awards 2017.
ANDi adds to its trophy case with the Bronze Stevie® Award received for “Startup of the Year - Consumer Products Industries” at this year’s International Business Awards.
“Winning an award as prestigious as the Stevies was a huge inspiration to our team,” says Woolf. “To be recognized by others in the global business community for our hard work is something we very much appreciate.”