PlayJam and STMicroelectronics Team Up to Bring Games To TVs

Playjam, one of the largest connected gaming platforms with a special focus on SmartTV's recently announced a partnership with STMicroelectronics in which Playjam's game channel would be integrated with ST's connected TVs and set-top box devices.

PlayJam, one of the largest connected gaming platforms with a special focus on SmartTVs recently announced a partnership with STMicroelectronics in which Playjam’s game channel would be integrated with ST’s connected TVs and set-top box devices. More after the jump.

PlayJam was founded in 1999 and has since been quite active in the interactive TV content and games space for the last 12 years. PlayJam first became an interactive broadcast channel through Canal Sat in France and BSkyB in the UK and eventually spread to the international realm including Africa. Available in millions of homes with digital TV’s, PlayJam has generated over 6 billion downloads during the last 5 years with an average time spent of 13 minutes. Some other stats include:

  • 55% conversion from free to pay
  • $80 Annualized ARPU
  • 4.8 repeat unique purchases per month
  • 99.3% overall satisfaction rate

The company primarily provides free and pay-to-play skill based games for audiences aged 25 to 45. Back in January of 2010, PlayJam secured partnerships with Sony, Samsung, Apple and others in order to meet eerie goal of spanning 450 million devices. PlayJam began the development of a series of TV widgets that were to be available on Sony BRAVIA Internet Widget enabled HDTVs as well as Dish India’s subscribers.

Jasper Smith, Chairman and Founder of PlayJam said in January 2010, “We’re delighted to have partnered with some of the largest CE and media organizations in the world to create a vast distribution network for our games. We believe casual games will be a key revenue driver for connected devices, shifting the focus of our business to become the leading TV games publisher.”

Now PlayJam is partnering with STMicroelectronics to bring a wide range of casual games to 3D accelerated devices. PlayJam will be both promoting its own titles as well as working with games developers world wide. According to PlayJam’s site, their core technology is called Phoenix. Phoenix provides games developers with the ability to select a number of value-added plug-ins such as tournaments, rewards schemes, leader boards, chat and messaging around their games, (without the need to rework them), to drive frequency and loyalty. Interoperability between platforms is made possible by Phoenix which also facilitates billing, centralized accounts and real- time reporting.

Comments Director, TV Strategic Marketing Yannick Paillard stated, “ST aims to maximize the value of its TV SoC for its customers and the end user. Playjam connected game services, leveraging the 3D graphic processor of Freeman Ultra, will deliver a great gaming experience. We look forward to working with them to roll out their service to our worldwide customers.”

While this is going on, we have others like Glu Mobile working closely with Nvidia to create games for Samsung’s Android-enabled Tablets powered by Nvidia’s Tegra. It seems like the next generation of games will demand cooperation between developer and device makers to fully leverage the hardware capabilities of a device. However PlayJam isn’t too concerned with maximizing the use of hardware as it is in being a publisher and connected games service.

But this is where lies the problem – if Google and Facebook so wanted, they could essentially link Android based devices (or Apple and Facebook for that matter for iDevices) to Facebook’s social graph and then what would happen to the likes of PlayJam? In the end the device makers won’t be the ones running things – it will be the carriers and maybe platforms unless net neutrality becomes a big issue.

The world of connected TV’s is so complicated that for now most players in the space are safe – but as fragmentation is reduced we should see the players with the best strategy rise to the top.