Leading Games Industry Figures Join PlayJam

written by: Richard Kastelein

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PlayJam, the world’s leading Smart TV games platform, welcomes games industry leaders to its board and advisory, including Tony Bartel; GameStop President, Charles Huang; co-founder of Red Octane and Chris Lee; co-founder of FreeStyleGames & Media Molecule.

GameStop President Tony Bartel joins the board to advise the company on further expansion of its TV games platform and to build out its network of publishers and developers. Tony brings with him deep sector knowledge and retailing expertise as well as providing PlayJam with access to the GameStop ecosystem spanning 6,500 retail stores and numerous digital brands. Having held senior executive positions with PepsiCo, Yum! Brands Inc and NCH Corporation, Tony joined GameStop, the world’s largest multichannel video game retailer, in 2005 and has been President of the company since June 2010.

Tony Bartel said:

"We’re excited about the potential of Smart TV gaming and we see PlayJam as a clear leader in its field. By leveraging GameStop’s resources, we can further accelerate PlayJam’s growth to capitalize on the latest market opportunities for downloading and streaming cloud games via TV.”

Industry veteran, Chris Lee will join PlayJam’s advisory board to provide commercial and marketing insight into the gaming marketplace and to help build the global developer community for the company’s games network. Chris, former Co-Founder & Commercial Director of FreeStyleGames & Media Molecule, has built games companies from start up to exit, created numerous original games and built global scale for leading brands such as Activision. In the process Chris has achieved worldwide recognition and received numerous accolades including BAFTA and AIAS Awards.

Chris Lee commented:

“PlayJam is perfectly placed to capitalize on the changing video game landscape. With global distribution deals in place with all key manufacturers, they provide a powerful route to market for game developers to immediately access a rapidly growing Smart TV audience. Developers are increasingly seeing Smart TV as a viable platform for gaming and we’re excited to bring their world class content to market.”

Charles Huang, co-founder of Red Octane, joins PlayJam’s advisory board to help the company develop unique IP around both the music and fitness genres. Charles was the creator and innovator behind Guitar Hero, the world’s first single video game to generate over $1billion in sales, and has been actively working on physical to virtual games for the past decade. The Guitar Hero series went onto sell more than 25 million units worldwide, earning US$2 billion at retail making it the 3rd largest game franchise in history.

Comments Charles Huang:

“The Smart TV market is evolving rapidly and whilst there are still challenges to overcome, we are committed to its as a platform for a new generation of games. PlayJam has an impressive depth of experience in TV gaming, strong commercial traction and a developer network that I believe will help it to dominate the sector. I’m delighted to be a part of the team”

PlayJam also welcomes London Venture Partners, LLP as an investor in the business. LVP is a specialist investor in the games sector comprising David Gardner; former head of Electronic Arts Europe and CEO of Atari. David Lau-Kee; former Electronic Arts VP and founder and CEO of Criterion Software, Paul Heydon; Managing Director of Avista Partners and Phil Harrison, former President of Sony Computer Entertainment Worldwide Studios and who recently joined Microsoft.


 David Gardner:

“We identify forward-thinking game businesses, those who will operate successfully when taking into account the bigger picture. PlayJam is one such game-changer, their innovative approach to distribution and content aggregation will accelerate the state of this industry.”

Jasper Smith, CEO and founder of PlayJam commented:

“It’s a great endorsement of the team’s work to win support from such prominent figures in the games industry. With almost all new TVs, Blu-ray and media players being connectable, we believe the market for TV gaming will see exponential growth in the next few years. We see a world where playing games on TV is as simple as tuning in to your favorite TV show.”

The company has recently signed a number of game developers to its beta programme including Relentless, First Star Software, GameHouse and Slingo. Eric Lamendola, General Manager at Slingo:

“PlayJam is focused on helping developers access the virtual console market through TV, which will be a huge opportunity worldwide – dwarfing the existing console market. We are delighted to join PlayJam as pioneers of a new era for the games industry.”

Andrew Eades, CEO, Relentless:

“As the game industry continues to evolve, Smart TV has a major role to play. PlayJam has a great footprint and a deep understanding of the sector and we’re delighted to be working with them to bring some new and innovative titles to one of the fastest growing games platforms today.”

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