With $2.5million in funding, Mind Pirate is planning to create augmented reality games for next-generation wearable devices like Google Glass. Additionally, the company will make custom-made games for sensors and touch screens of the present-day smartphones and tablets. This dual approach of Mind Pirate will serve it well until the next-generation mobile technology gets popular in the market, opines Shawn Hardin, the chief executive of the company.
Mind Pirate is a California based company founded by Shawn Hardin. During its startup days, the company acquired game developer Twyngo and it also raised money from Signia Venture Partners of Rick Thompson and Bessemer Venture Partners.
The credo of the company is “Your World is the Game Board”. This idea is actually conceived around Google Glass and its ability to overlay AR games over user’s real landscape. In fact, the company itself is built around the idea that wearable technologies like Glass will be new the new trend and will open new avenues in the world of mobile entertainment as well as mass-market game. To quote Hardin, “Augmented reality is a piece of the story, but it is not the whole story”.
However, that next-generation market of augmented reality is still out of reach for common people and that’s why Mind Pirate is keen to focus on features of smartphones and tablet like sensors for gesture controls, which Hardin believes have been underutilized. The company is to release its first game for iOS and Android this fall. Hardin said, “Ninety percent of developers are designing games only for the touch screen, but these devices have a dozen sensors or more.”
Mind Pirate has been planning to license their Callisto Engine next year and allow third-party developers to use it in order to take more advantages of such features of smartphones and tablets in games. According to Hardin, “This presents a huge, untapped opportunity in today’s market. Within five years, ‘eye phones’ will replace iPhones, ushering in a new generation of games that will be more immersive and engaging than ever before.”
Bessemer Venture Partners has future plans with Mind Pirate for developing a roadmap for startups based on augmented reality technology. Other startups developed by Bessemer include SiteAdvisor, Ungermann Bass, Good Technology, Flarion, VeriSign, Truaxis, and Smule. David Cowan from Bessemer Venture Partners said, “Monopoly, Pac-Man and World of Warcraft defined new gaming categories — and that’s what Mind Pirate will do for augmented reality games. Now we all have a reason to look forward to the day when ‘eye phones’ replace iPhones.”
On the other hand, Thompson of Signia Venture Partners opines, “Mind Pirate is ahead of the game, using everything from augmented reality to new, wearable computing technology to create rich interactive gaming experiences that mobile players will love.”