Revolutionizing game testing with AI
The games industry continues to grow in size with a record 12,000 Steam releases in 2021- but there is another more insidious growth also happening. Game costs are spiraling higher and higher year after year as multiplatform, live service games become tablestakes and developers focus on holding their audiences for longer through deeper forms of gameplay. Continuous content releases are effective at keeping players engaged and monetization flowing, but also drive continuous increases in game logic complexity- which brings us to the unavoidable yet often unspoken topic of game QA costs.
Game testing is an essential part of creating games, from blockbuster AAA titles to hypercasual mobile games. It’s an inherently manual process, given the complexity of level design, various aspects of gameplay, and randomness of player behavior. As the complexity of and scope of game development increases, we’ve seen QA costs at leading live service studios blow past the unspoken “10%” rule to over 20% of gamedev budgets. Automated testing has been growing in practice for a while but is not available off the shelf. These tools need to work across a variety of game types, directly with game engines, without lengthy or complex customizations. Game developers need an easier way to automate tests in their game- and we believe Modl is the company to do it.
Modl.ai aims to solve this massive problem of QA testing for the gaming industry and, in doing so, we believe will build out the world’s most powerful AI platform developed and trained for 3D environments.
Modl.ai creates AI bots that emulate player behavior to automate labor intensive tasks in game development; delivering massive amounts of time and cost savings to studios. Their AI engine is faster and more effective than a human tester, allowing for more rapid iteration and releases of new content. This isn’t just aspirational - they are already helping studios see significant improvement in testing in a fraction of the time. One studio even saw D1 retention increase by 50% after deploying Modl.ai’s bots!
"Video games are perhaps the toughest pieces of software to test. Unlike apps or web pages, many games have an almost infinite number of states, incredibly custom interaction models, and release updates all the time to a finicky audience." - CEO of Test.AI
We see Modl’s value extending beyond the games industry as digital twins become more commonplace and industrial sectors have close-to-unanimous intent to adopt AI-based simulations. Game engines have grown to become a remarkably powerful tool for industrial simulations, and we believe Modl.ai’s simulation capabilities can provide businesses with an automation toolkit for their digital twins.
Modl.ai was founded in 2018 by six AI and gaming veterans that have been credited with over 30,000 research citations and shipped over 30 games. During the past 10 months, we’ve been fortunate to get to know Christoffer and Lars exceptionally well and have high conviction in their vision. Usually, solving an industry-wide endemic problem can seem too good to be true; after our studio QA colleagues were blown away in technical deep dives with the Modl team, we knew we had found a truly special team with a game-changing platform.
"If anyone can bring games AI research to the industry and succeed, this is the team.“ - Ken Stanley, Open AI
Our team at Rendered VC is thrilled to join Griffin Gaming Partners and M12 in Modl.ai’s oversubscribed Series A. This round will provide Modl.ai with the capital needed to develop a self-serviceable product that is ready to scale as well as access to a deep network of top tier studios to drive GTM. We strongly believe that Modl.ai stands to tackle a universal problem in gaming with a product that few are capable of building and if they’re successful, they will change the gaming industry for the better.