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Keywords Studios acquires AI and machine learning firm Yokozuna Data

The AIM-100 firm said it was purchasing the business, including all associated technology rights and trademarks, from Silicon Studio Corporation for US$1.5mln in cash

AI brain
Yokozuna’s technologies are designed to predict the behaviour of individual game players

Keywords Studios PLC (LON:KWS) has acquired Yokozuna Data, a developer of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning technologies based in Japan.

The AIM-100 firm, which provides technical services to the video gaming industry, said it was purchasing the business, including all associated technology rights and trademark from Silicon Studio Corporation for US$1.5mln in cash. 

READ: Keywords Studios acquires video game engineering firm Snowed In

Yokozuna’s technologies, which include a range of self-learning, predictive analytic models drawing on AI and machine learning tech, are designed to predict the behaviour of individual video game players and adapt themselves to changes made in the game. The models are also used to determine the likelihood of players abandoning the game and their propensity to buy items in the game. The firm also offers a management framework which allows game companies to adjust key parameters, record and view results, and to monitor key performance metrics of their games in live operation.

Keywords added that as part of the agreement it would collaborate with Yokozuna’s previous owner Silicon to introduce the technologies developed by the company to Japanese game developers and publishers, while also retaining the non-exclusive right to resell Yokozuna’s solutions to non-game markets (such as healthcare) in exchange for a share of associated revenues.

Foothold

Andrew Day, Keywords’ chief executive, said that the company had been looking to “establish a foothold in…video game analytics for a few years”, and that while Yokozuna was pre-revenue, it was a “rare asset” with clients expected to start implementing the software in 2018.

He added that as video games continued to transition to a service model from a product model, “the use of sophisticated analytics engines like this to automatically understand player behaviour and trigger real-time decisions in-game will become increasingly valuable”, and that the use of AI to adapt predictive models in games based on in-game changes was “critical to the future of the video games industry”.

The purchase follows on the heels of a previous acquisition by Keywords last week, when it acquired Ottawa-based video game engineering firm Snowed In for C$4mln.

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Price: 1371 GBX

AIM:KWS
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Market Cap: £894.06 m
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