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Our expert judges have reviewed applications from the 37 video game startups that entered our Who’s Got Game contest, taking place at our GamesBeat@GDC event on March 10.
Our criteria included degree of innovation, potential for business success, and concept freshness. The finalists in alphabetical order are:
Atmosphir — Offering a tool to create user-generated games, this company is trying to become a destination for alternative games on the web. Making interactive adventures is as simple as stacking together blocks for diverse gameplay elements like enemies, treasures, powerups, ranged weapons, and more. Players can share their creations by uploading them to its web site, where they can compete against the rest of the world for leaderboard supremacy in solo and cooperative modes, or battle it out in 16-player multiplayer modes. It’s part of the movement to democratize video game development by including amateurs as well as professionals.
BeanJar — This company is offering a rewards platform that can be integrated into online games, allowing gamers to win real-world prizes for their feats in games. Gamers can win a “Bean” from any “Bean-enabled” game, and then redeem their Beans at a sponsor’s online or retail store. The company says this kind of real-world prize makes the winning experience more memorable.
Desura — This company’s goal is to create a community-driven, developer-run, open digital distribution platform for PC games. Desura plans to sell commercial and indie games (one click buy, install, patch, play) and will introduce free user-made content to the gaming world. YouTube did it for video, Flickr for images, and Desura says it will do it for PC games.
Sibblingz — We wrote about the debut of Sibblingz in December when Peter Relan, chairman, announced that the company was launching a platform to create social games for Facebook, the web and the iPhone. The benefit of the common platform is that it allows gamers to play their social games anytime, anywhere. Our judges felt that the company’s strong potential merited being put up on stage.
Turiya — Turiya applies predictive data mining to online games, enabling publishers to target their users based on past behavior. The company provides an analytics platform that serves up rich detail on consumers to game publishers so that they can get more insight into what works in their games. The company’s Leafnode product helps game publishers acquire new users, retain current users, and monetize all of their users.
The panel of screening judges included VentureBeat’s Dean Takahashi, lead writer for GamesBeat; Jamil Moledina, outreach director at Electronic Arts Partners; Jeremy Liew, managing director of Lightspeed Venture Partners; and Eric Goldberg, managing director of Crossover Technologies.
The finalists will present on stage at GamesBeat@GDC. Each will get five minutes to talk about their company. Our panel of judges will ask them questions, offer feedback, and select a winner. At the event, the Who’s Got Game? demo session will be moderated by Liew, while live judges will include Moledina, Hyrkin, Goldberg, and Patrick Mork, vice president of marketing at GetJar.
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