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Gamesalad: a venture analysis for ETEC 522

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Ben C

on 11 October 2012

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Transcript of Gamesalad: a venture analysis for ETEC 522

A Venture Analysis for MET 522 Gamesalad allows users to design, create and share their own video games without having to write a single line of code. What
is it? Gamesalad has over
400,000 active developers. Who
uses it? Gamesalad has users all over the world. It is used by a wide variety of individuals and small companies. How BIG
is it? YES! Is there still
room for
growth? The Gamesalad team has
solid credentials Gamesalad Who is
behind it? Design Gamesalad's unique
visual programming interface
allows users to create their games
by dragging and dropping
images, sounds and behaviours
into a flowchart. Create It allows for a remarkably
diverse range of design
ideas. Gamesalad developers can export their games
for a wide variety of platforms. Share Gamesalad has an active community where developers
exchange ideas and play each
other's games. Abdulrahman Alanki, 14, created 'Doodle Destroy' in his bedroom in Kuwait. To date, the game has amassed over 900,000 downloads. Stacey Bennett, AKA Tshirtbooth, who's job at one time was to dive in ponds at local golf courses to recover balls, was able to sell his T-shirt printing business and create iOS games full time after only a few months after making his first games. Several of his games have reached top-5 spots on Apple's list of Top Paid Games in the U.S. App Store. Debi Bender is one of the thousands of teachers using Gamesalad to teach principles of design and systems thinking. http://diaryofagamesaladexp.blogspot.hk/2011/05/so-today-experiment-begins.html http://gamesalad.com/blog/gamesalad-developer-profile-tshirtbooth http://articles.cnn.com/2010-10-05/world/kuwait.iphone.teenager_1_iphone-app-free-download-computer-games?_s=PM:WORLD Gamesalad powers over 100,000 original titles including a game that reached #1 in the U.S. App Store. Gamesalad has powered more than 65 games that reached the top 100. 10 that reached the top 20. In 2011, more than 15% of all games in the App Store were made using Gamesalad. They added support for Android development less than a year ago. A version of Gamesalad creator will be available for Windows with the release of Windows 8 on Oct.26, 2012 Windows Phone has undergone a massive renovation and is due for widespread release this November. Their new partnership with Microsoft will allow Gamesalad to take advantage of the upcoming release of new Windows tablets. http://www.bloomberg.com/article/2012-09-25/a.mM6Hoxcs70.html Gamesalad is not just for making games. Developers have started using it for ebooks and utility apps. This app, the Photics Toolbox includes a variety of household tools such as a digital ruler, stopwatch, timer, flashlight and message board. http://photics.com/toolbox Photics Toolbox The iPad market continues to grow. In Q3 2012, when Apple set an all-time record for educational Mac sales, the iPad outsold the Mac 2 to 1 http://www.educationdive.com/news/iPad-continues-high-education-adoption-rate-in-Q3/42996/ In mid-2012, Gamesalad unveiled a new program focusing on the education market. It includes curriculum, a textbook and other training materials, a certification program and support for the licensing of student-generated apps and games. http://gamesalad.com/education GameSalad is a privately held,
venture-backed company, How do
they make
money? http://www.businessinsider.com/meet-the-startup-thats-going-to-make-programming-a-thing-of-the-past-2012-4#ixzz2886xlTnQ For example, on their website, they showcase the game 'Angry Anna'. Supporters of Anna Hazare, an Indian activist on a hunger strike, used Gamesalad to create a computer game in his honor that was fashioned after Angry Birds . The game features a slingshot to fling caricatures of the famous protestor others at Indian politicians. Gamesalad attempts to democratize the process of developing games; to turn the average user from content-consumer to content creator. CEO Steve Felter previously worked as CEO and CFO for DigiSynd, an online entertainment and marketing company and subsidiary of Disney Inc. He oversaw social media strategies for Disney's top brands, including Pixar, ESPN and Disney Interactive. Under his tenure, Disney became one of the top-ranked social brands on the Internet. Co-founder Michael Agustin has a Master's degree from Carnegie Mellon in Entertainment technology. He has worked as a designer and programmer for Edge of Reality and Three Rings and was part of Apple's Platform Experience Group assigned to work on the MacOS X operating system.

Co-founder Daniel Trieman worked as a software engineer for Epic Systems and before that, was a part of Rice University's ground breaking Human-Computer Interaction Lab.

Co-founder Tan Tran was also able to hone his business and entrepreneurial skills as the founder of a web design and consulting startup, Angel Concepts. He also developed the online bill payment system at FundsXpress and was a senior web developer and a team-leader with leading online travel site Hotels.com. In 2010, Gamesalad raised $1 million in series A venture funding. http://techcrunch.com/2010/07/14/gendai-games-raises-over-1-million-for-iphone-and-ipad-game-creation-tool/ In 2011, Gamesalad raised an additional $6.1 million in venture funding. http://techcrunch.com/2011/03/31/gamesalad-raises-6-1-million-for-iphone-and-ipad-game-creation-tool/ Gamesalad operates on a 'Freemium' business model. The basic product is available for free but users
can pay for an upgrade where they can access
more advanced features. This model has proven very effective in this market. A number of competing products use the same model. Once users have committed time and effort to familiarize themselves with one platform, they are more likely to stay with that platform. They may develop their game using the free version, then, when presented with the possibility of monetizing it through distribution in the app store, will pay for more advanced features that allow them to differentiate their game from others offerings. Gamesalad does not take a percentage of revenue generated by app sales. Instead, they share revenue generated by in-app advertisements. While this may appear as a missed opportunity, it has contributed factor to Gamesalad's appeal. Gamesalad has an extensive marketplace where users can purchase additional assets such as templates, graphics and audio for their games. Many developers earn money selling assets of their own. Acknowledging the importance of understanding the unique needs and eccentricities of local markets, Gamesalad has begun to build international partnerships. Companies such as Tencent in China have helped them tailor their products to accommodate cultural differences as they expand into new markets. GameSalad has rivals in the marketplace,
but they remain ahead of the competition. Who is
competition? Stencyl, which came out in 2011, is a similar product with many of the same features, but with 50,000 registered users and only 10,000 original titles, Gamesalad has a big headstart and much more active user base. http://www.crunchbase.com/company/stencyl

http://developers.kongregate.com/news/q-a-with-jon-creator-of-stencyl Stencyl While the Unity development engine allows the user to create games for an even wider variety of platforms than Gamesalad, the learning curve is much steeper and it targets an audience of more serious developers. While it is used for iOS, Android and web-based games, it's real strength is 3D and is often used for creating console games. http://unity3d.com/ Other competitors include:

Garagegames: Torque2D/3D (http://www.garagegames.com/products/torque-3d)

Yo-Yo Games: Gamemaker

Scirra Games: Construct 2

Vision The Gamesalad team sees games not only as a source of entertainment, but as a communication tool. 11-year old Conner Haines started 'BElieve', a charity that invites children diagnosed with cancer to submit their game ideas. He builds that games for them and proceeds go to the Make-A-Wish foundation. This is a very personal venture for Conner. His older sister has acute lymphoblastic leukemia. You can learn more about his project at: http://www.bigthinkinapps.com/

In my own classroom practice, Gamesalad has been a fantastic tool, allowing me to develop popular interdisciplinary units that incorporate learning from a number of different classes. Music students can contribute to the sounds of a game. Art students work on the designs. Technology students program the behaviours. The game has been played hundreds of thousands of times online and has increased awareness of his cause.

With huge marketshare, sound financial backing and impressive room for growth, Gamesalad represents an excellent investment opportunity in the digital entertainment sector. I am confident that we will be hearing great things about them in future. In education, the possibilities are enormous.
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