Game Dojos Wants to Accelerate Your Game Studio
Ann Burkett (left) and Simon Amarasingham (below) want to help you build your game business. They, along with along with James Boyle, co-founded Game Dojos to be more than a typical business incubator, which many times only has an option for quick turn around and project exit, while pushing for acquisition and a public stock offering (IPO).
“Acquisition focused companies fit nicely into the typical accelerator models since that is what VC and angels fund, and of course we do want those kind of game companies and we do have the best well known VC’s and Angels coming to help in the game space,” said Burkett in a phone conversation last month. “Games are different, though, in that many times the dream of the a studio is simply to be a great long team studio and partner with great distribution, cross promotion and publishing networks when desired. We want an option for those studios too, and deals for revenue share from games does fit that option,” she continued. “What better way for them to become aware of a studio than to meet them face to face in a workshop?”
Game Dojos wants to connect the best of the business with the newest to the business, helping find some micro funding and even office space for program participants. “We’d love the game companies to come here,” Burkett said, referring to San Francisco, where Game Dojos is based, “but we’re also looking into the virtual thing. We’d prefer teams to relocate to SF if they can for the three months, however we are not going to refuse to take a strong talented team based elsewhere, and will talk to them individually for consideration.” They’re not just looking to fund the studios, then, but actually nurture them to help create “longer term companies,” she said.
How do game companies apply for admission into the program? There’s a simple form to fill out, and a website and FAQ to visit to get a sense of what Game Dojos is looking for. In our conversation, Burkett mentioned wanting to find studios that had already put together a game concept or demo, at least, to show that “they can produce.” The website now says that in order to be considered, studios must have a “working demo of a current or past game, gaming platform, or gaming tool to illustrate that your team can develop and execute an idea.”
Who are the industry vets that Game Dojos is working with? How about Disney Interactive Studios, PopCap, Glu, EA, IGN, TapJoy, and the Silicon Valley International Game Developers Association (SV IGDA), for starters? The list is only growing, according to Burkett.
Game Dojos is a new venture, but the staff are no strangers to the business. Burkett has been involved in game development since the early days of Macromedia and Shockwave. She also founded the HTML5 Developers Conference, Bay Area Game and App Developers Group, Games.js, SF Mobile Dev and chairs the Silicon Valley IGDA. Simon Amarasingham, COO of Game Dojos and pictured at right, and his brother, Kemal, founded dSonic, now one of the leading game audio companies in the US with credits on over 100 titles from AAA console titles like Bioshock and Brutal Legend to mobile and casual titles like Farmville and Gumdrop.
Be sure to head over to the Game Dojos website for all the specifics on the program, its partners, and links to forms and FAQs.