the French platform Piepacker becomes and launches social features

This free cloud gaming service, which has raised 15 million euros, has 2 million users and will open up to newer independent games.

Name change for free cloud gaming service Piepacker. Two years after its creation, this French start-up founded by Facebook and Twitch alumni has become and launches new social features when you play against other Internet users in retro video games like Metal Slug, Windjammers or King of Fighters. “Jam users who play together are logged in twice as long and retention is four times bettersaid co-founder Benjamin Devienne.

Jam wants to mimic the spirit of arcades of the past by encouraging users to play against strangers and chat with them. But he intends to do so tactfully. Its functionpublic restrooms»Is divided into several categories depending on the mood of the player. Want to chat about a game? Or conversely, to play without being forced to chat with your opponent? There will be lounges for that, as well as spaces reserved for those in a competitive mood.

The service allows players to see each other via their webcam and chat in writing or via audio. “But we don’t want it to be Chatroulette“, A service where non-consensual sexual exhibitions are frequent, continued Benjamin Devienne. When strangers play together, their faces are replaced with augmented reality filters and the rest of the body is masked to prevent slip-ups. “Their faces will only appear on the screen if all players agree.»Moderation of written exchanges will be provided by Bodyguard technology.

The faces of the two players are hidden at the beginning of the game, as well as their bodies Jam

Less than a year after launching the service, has 2 million subscribers and 500,000 monthly active users. “This number is growing by 20% per month, I think we expect a million monthly players this summer“, continued the co-founder. Growth is driven by Brazil”because our service works even on small connections. We are testing our new features in this market“.

Coming of recent games

Jam’s catalog of games now centers on games from the 80s and 90s: King of Fighters, Earthworm Jim, Worms, Samurai Shodown… “But you don’t become a unicorn with retrosmiled Benjamin Devienne. “Modern games are a big challenge for us.The start-up convinced publisher Team17 to distribute recent games on the platform Overcooked (2016) at Switch Outside (2020), where players must work together on running a restaurant kitchen or moving house. They are playable for free, just like indie games Eggnog+ (2017) at Hidden in Plain Sight (2011).

But the start -up wants to go further and wants to be a sales platform for independent games – discussions are underway for titles that have been very successful in recent years. “Today cloud gaming is rarely profitable because the technical costs are high. But we patented a technology that greatly reduces the size of the video stream by cutting it into several small beams. This greatly reduces costs for us and opens up a whole model of the economy“, explains Benjamin Devienne. The advent of paid games will also make it possible to unblock discussions with game publishers who do not want to access their works for free.

Finally, Jam will allow you to broadcast your game on Twitch with one click but to also unlock monetization options. “A viewer will be able to challenge a streamer by paying to play against them. Viewers can also change the current game by displaying new enemies or special items, again by paying a small amount. 70% of the money spent will go to the content creator“, underlined to the co-founder. The rest will go to Jam, unless the start-up has an agreement with the publisher of the video game. In this case, the remaining sum will be shared equally between the two parties.

The start-up now has approximately sixty employees. This number could rise to 100 or even 150 employees by 2023 thanks to a major fundraiser in question. By the end of 2021, Jam has already earned 15 million euros from the Lego team.

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