2016 Recap: PerBlue

The year of 2016 was another action-packed year for PerBlue. Much of the year was focused on scaling our newest game DragonSoul into the largest and most successful title we’ve released to date. In less than 1 year since launch it amassed over 9 million players, emerged as a top 10 mobile RPG, and grew to a Top 50 Grossing App in the US. We even ran large scale national TV ad campaigns throughout the year, so you may have seen it on TV!

The culmination of all this came in October when DragonSoul was officially acquired by GREE International Entertainment, which is the Western division of the Japanese global mobile-social company, GREE. The sale enables the DragonSoul franchise to continue to scale globally and operate under GREE, while enabling our team at PerBlue to remain independent and focus on new product development.

Throughout the year we continued to grow our team. A number of very talented people from the Madison area as well as all over the country joined us, and we’ve nearly doubled the size of our office space over the year to accommodate. The broader Madison game development community also saw a lot of momentum as the Madison Games Alliance continued to take root and grow.

We’re excited for our next big chapter at PerBlue. Cheers to 2017!

PerBlue’s DragonSoul Gaming Franchise Acquired

dragonsoul logoThe widely popular mobile role playing game, DragonSoul, was recently acquired from PerBlue by GREE International Entertainment.

The DragonSoul franchise has become a household name in mobile gaming with over 9 million players worldwide. GREE international plans to build upon the success of DragonSoul and further increase its reach across Europe and around the world. As for PerBlue, the acquisition will allow the Madison company to continue managing their current collection of games as well as develop new mobile role playing games. You can read more about the acquisition here and here.

2015 Recap: PerBlue

perblueThe year of 2015 was an action-packed year for PerBlue. Our team was heads down working on some exciting things, culminating in the launch of our newest game DragonSoul. We also continued to build out our team and were joined by a number of great people.

We started the year with the addition of our new Chief Product Officer, Matt Ricchetti. We also added some very talented people to nearly every area of our team throughout the year, including developers, UI, marketing, and support. We were joined by people both from the Madison area as well as many that relocated from all across the country. Welcome!

These new teammates joined our amazing veteran team members to form the most well-rounded and talented team we’ve ever had (and we’re still looking for a few more people to join us!). We were also honored to be named one of the Best Places to Work by Madison Magazine, which is great recognition of our continual focus on making sure our employees can flourish.

The Madison startup community continued to grow, and we are always proud to play a leadership role in helping make it even more vibrant. We’re happy to be part of the startup community, and are looking forward to joining as an anchor tenant of the StartingBlock Madison entrepreneurial hub next year.

We’re also helping bring together the burgeoning Madison game developer community, and have partnered with other local game studios to launch the Madison Game Alliance. The goal is to unite the existing diverse Madison game development community of studios, indies, and educators to form a more cohesive “scene” and raise Madison’s profile as a game development hub.

On the product front, after months of research, production, development, and a successful Beta, we launched our latest game worldwide in September. DragonSoul is a wildly outrageous mobile role-playing game (RPG) where players take on dragons and monsters as they battle their way through an epic story campaign freeing heroes along the way.

DragonSoul received features from both Google and Apple, and has been the most successful product launch we’ve had as a company. We also ran our first ever national TV ad campaign with commercials airing on major TV stations across the country – keep an eye out for them!

We’re proud of the team and games we’ve built, and are excited for what the future holds for us. Cheers to 2016!

2014 Recap: PerBlue

perblueThe year of 2014 was a year of big moves for PerBlue. We started out the year by moving to a brand new office. After 3 years in what was intended to be a “temporary” office space, we decided it was time for a change up. In March we moved back downtown and into a great office that is a much better fit for our culture and in a great neighborhood.

This marks our fifth office move over the history of the company, and we’ve come a long way since the early days working out of Justin’s college apartment. It’s great to be in our new space, and we’re excited to be located in the vibrant Capitol East District in downtown Madison. Check out more pictures from our office move on Facebook here.

In May we completed a $3M funding round which was led by Lightbank out of Chicago. This was Lightbank’s first investment in a Wisconsin based company, and we are excited to have them as a partner in our adventure.

We were awarded the coveted “Top Developer” distinction from Google, and we released our newest game Titan Empires to the world in October. It quickly surpassed 1 million players within just 3 weeks of its launch, and climbed the app store rankings charts to be a Top 25 Free Game in the US. Titan Empires was even “featured” front and center on the homescreen of the Google Play Store for a week. Greed for Glory also received a Google feature, and continues to have a strong and active player base.

To celebrate the launch of Titan Empires, we partnered with our friends at MobCraft who brewed us our very own beer (and let us help) – the PerBrew Apollo Ale. It was quite delicious, and was even featured in The Cap Times.

Madison’s role as an emerging tech and gaming hub continued to increase, and PerBlue continued to play an important role in that. We have a strong (and growing) team, and are excited to continue to build great mid-core mobile games to share with the world. Cheers to 2015!

Madison Wayward Nation Episode Airs

WAYWARD_NIGHT-LOGO-16-9-0Last summer the Wayward Nation film crew traveled the country documenting the “New American Dream“. They stopped for a few days of adventure in Madison, where they spent time at Sector67 and PerBlue. You can check out the full season of episodes on Ora TV.

The full episode (#9 – “The New American Dream is Hacked”) is available here. An additional interview with Sector67 founder Chris Meyer is available here, and a video game pitch session is available here.

PerBlue Raises $3M in Funding

perblueMobile gaming company PerBlue has raised $3M in a Series A-2 funding round lead by Chicago based Lightbank. This funding marked Lightbank’s first investment in a Wisconsin based startup.

PerBlue designs, develops, and publishes mid-core mobile strategy games for Android and iOS platforms. Their games have been played by over 10 million people in 200 countries around the world. For more information on the funding, see coverage on Xconomy and the Wisconsin State Journal.

2013 Recap: PerBlue

perblueThe year of 2013 was an action filled year for PerBlue.

Our flagship title Parallel Kingdom saw the release of an entirely new Age. The Age of Ascension was the 5th Age launched for the game and went live in February 2013. It was the first new Age to be released in over 2 years, and was filled with a ton of new content and features.

The mobile gaming industry is always rapidly evolving. We began an ambitious new project with a goal to push the limits of mobile gaming on Android and set out to build a full new 3D game engine for Android that would bring PerBlue to the forefront of mobile gaming.

Our first title to be released using the engine was Boardtastic Skateboarding, which launched in early 2013 and is still one of the most popular skateboarding games on Android. This was followed in June 2013 with the release of our city defense strategy game Greed for Glory.

Greed for Glory has been played by over 2.25 million people from all around the world. It now has our largest active player base and is our highest revenue producing title. We’ve spent much of the last six months releasing new phases of content for it (including great social features, Kingdoms, and more).

The city defense strategy game genre is a rapidly growing one, and we’re proud to say that Greed for Glory is the most successful US based game in the genre. Greed for Glory has ranked among the Top 25 Games in Google Play and continues to grow. We’re excited for the future of Greed for Glory and our next generation of games.

We launched our new PerBlue branding and logo this year, along with our tagline “Freedom of Play”. PerBlue was named one of the “Finest Game Publishers” and was also featured in an Isthmus cover story. Our CEO Justin Beck was a featured on a Mashable live chat, and was also a speaker at top gaming industry conferences including Casual Connect and GDC.

Justin and COO Forrest Woolworth were recognized as distinguished young UW alumni by the Wisconsin Alumni Association and received the 2013 Forward Under 40 award (check out the cover!). Justin and Forrest were also named to Madison Magazine’s inaugural M List, which recognizes the top entrepreneurs and technologists in Madison.

As a company, 2013 marked our 5 year anniversary. We’ve sure learned and grown a lot as individuals and as a team over that time. We’ve seen great times – and not so fun times. Looking back, we’ve really come a long way since the early days, and we’re better positioned than ever before for an even more exciting future!

PerBlue Launches Greed for Glory

perbluePerBlue just released a significant update to their recently released Greed for Glory mobile game for Android. The latest update adds kingdoms, social features, and leaderboards to the 3D combat strategy game. Greed for Glory originally launched in June, and has since garnered over 700,000 installs from around the world. Download and play Greed for Glory here.

PerBlue Execs Named to UW Forward Under 40

553350_456817914389322_331852373_nJustin Beck and Forrest Woolworth of PerBlue were named to the 2013 University of Wisconsin Alumni Association’s Forward Under 40 list. The Forward Under 40 award is given out to a small set of UW graduates each year who embody the Wisconsin Idea. This is the sixth year for the award, with 9 alumni in the 2013 class. Read more here.

Exemplifying the Wisconsin Idea, the foundation of this honor, each of the nine 2013 recipients are, among many things, talented and inspiring — I could not be more pleased or proud to recognize their amazing achievements with this award. – Paula Bonner, Wisconsin Alumni Association President

Jon Hardin and Scott Resnick of Hardin Design and Development were also recognized with the Forward Under 40 award in 2012.

App Developers Featured in The Isthmus

isthmus-appcoverIf you grab an Isthmus this week you’ll notice a number of Capital Entrepreneurs companies featured in the cover story on Apple app development in Madison. The article profiled 8 local developers, including PerBlue, SnowShoe, Asthmapolis, Pinpoint Software, Door 6, Fishidy, TheoryThree Interactive, and MobileIgniter.

The article focused on what it’s like to be an app developer, as well as the ecosystem that exists in Madison including supporting groups such as Capital Entrepreneurs, Build Madison, and the Forward Technology Festival.

We’re smart enough to see the possibilities here in Madison, and accordingly the tech startup scene around iPhone apps is smoldering… Mobile startups are making a dent in the universe from right here, and it’s changing the way that computer professionals who live in Madison are relating to the global technology community.

Be sure to checkout the full article here.

PerBlue Launches Big Updates for Parallel Kingdom and Boardtastic

logo_transparent_blueMobile and social game developer PerBlue has had a busy week, launching two significant updates for their mobile games.

PerBlue’s flagship game, Parallel Kingdom, saw the release of the fifth “Age” for the game. This was the first Age to be released in nearly 2 years, and contains a huge swath of new game features. The Age of Ascension marks the beginning of exploration in the air. The Sky Realm unlocks a completely separate world from the previously inhabited Land Realm. Parallel Kingdom is a location based RPG and now has over 1.6 million players from all around the world.

PerBlue also released a brand new version of their latest game, Boardtastic Skateboarding 2, which is a full 3D skating game for Android. The game drops players at the beginning of a promising skateboarding career. It’s up to them to skate their way to the top and become the best skateboarder in the world. The latest version unleashes a global multiplayer system.

Read more on their blog here.

2012 Recap: PerBlue

The past year has been a whirlwind of new games and some amazing local and national recognition for PerBlue.

We were so proud to have been recognized by several organizations within the last year. PerBlue was a finalist in the GetDiscovered! Contest, recognizing awesome Android apps. Pocket Gamer named us one of the top 10 ‘Developers to Watch in 2012’. In May, we were featured on Forbes in “How I Launched My Mobile App From My Apartment”. Then in October, Justin was invited to the White House for the Empact100, honoring the top 100 startups in the United States.

We were really involved in several of Madison’s technology and hackathon events. Groups from our team attended and participated in hackathons, BuildMadison and Startup Weekend this year. The Isthmus named us the ‘Best Tech Startup’ in Madison for their annual Best in Madison feature. Justin Beck was featured in this fun video about innovation at the UW.

We launched a few new games in 2012. In the style of our flagship title, Parallel Kingdom, we released two additional location-based MMORPGs, Parallel Mafia (March) and Parallel Zombies (July). Another topic of interest for us this year was casual games. We launched two casual games over the summer, Bugduster and Bob vs. Bear, available free on Google Play.

Our first location-based title, Parallel Kingdom remains our primary focus. We recently announced a new Age. Each Age introduces a large set of new features, mechanics, and artwork. It’s been over a year since our last Age and our players are really excited about the upcoming release.

Parallel Kingdom reached many notable milestones this year. In January, we surpassed 1 million registered user accounts. As part of our continued partnership with PlayMob, our players donated over $4,000 to HelpUSA, Kitty Kind, and 4 Paws for Ability. When our players weren’t donating to various charities, they were really busy building Parallel Kingdom. Check out this awesome infographic of interesting statistics from the game.

Our CEO, Justin Beck spoke at three of the four Game Developers Conferences (GDC) this year. His presentation ‘Bootstrapping 101’ was highly rated at each GDC conference, and Justin was selected as one of this year’s top 50 speakers at the conference. He also participated in the first annual Mobile Gaming USA conference, the Forward Technology Festival, and made several trips the the UW to give entrepreneurial advice to engineering and business students.

PerBlue Headquarters was a busy place this year. Over the summer we had seven interns in the office. From our development team, to the marketing team, these interns helped our full-time staff on various projects. The summer months were also full of company cookouts, ultimate frisbee games, and a beach volleyball social. As the winter begins, we’ve just completed our second annual ‘Holiday Board Games Drive’ and collected over 20 games for Domestic Abuse Intervention Services (DAIS).

Oh yeah, and we just launched another game last month. Boardtastic, the only 3D skateboarding game on Google Play. The game drops players at the beginning of an exciting pro-skateboarding careers. Boardtastic has over 30 tricks to master in three skateboarding parks all over the world. The game is available for free exclusively on Android devices.

We are already predicting 2013 to be another great year at PerBlue. Stay up to date with all of our projects by following us on our blog, Facebook, and Twitter pages.

Check out past PerBlue news posts here.

PerBlue An Empact100 Honoree

Mobile and social gaming company PerBlue is being honored this month at the White House as part of the Empact100. The Empact100 list is comprised of the top 100 companies in the Empact Showcase, a compilation of the United States’ leading entrepreneurs who are age 30 and under, and whose annual revenues or operating budgets (for non-profits) are more than $100,000. PerBlue was the only Wisconsin based company to make the list.

Innovation Video Features CE Companies

The UW-Madison College of Engineering just released their 2012 Annual Report video. The video highlights innovators with ties to UW – including Capital Entrepreneurs members Justin Beck of PerBlue and Chris Meyer of Sector67. UW-Madison is recognizing 2012-13 as the Year of Innovation, offering a chance to reflect on what this concept means to the university and to society. With $136 million in research and more than 100 patent disclosures annually, the College of Engineering Has worked to cultivate innovation as a standard operating procedure in our classrooms and labs.

PerBlue Featured at GDC Europe

PerBlue Co-Founder and CEO Justin Beck kicked off the Game Developers Conference Europe this week with a presentation titled “Bootstrapping 101”. The session highlighted the fork-in-the-road moments of PerBlue’s path from bootstrapping, to raising money, to today. PerBlue’s “Parallel” series of location-based RPG mobile games have over 1.5 million players worldwide. PerBlue also sees Android outpacing iOS in almost every way, calling Android “a freight train.”

Check out more coverage on PocketGamer and Joystiq.

PerBlue Launches Parallel Zombies

Capital Entrepreneurs founding member PerBlue launched the latest mobile game of their “Parallel” franchise today. Parallel Zombies is a zombie infested location-based RPG exclusively for Android. Gamers will team up with other survivors, either their friends or nearby players, using GPS technology to complete missions and help save the world. Download the game here, or read more about Parallel Zombies on Pocket Gamer and Gamezebo.

Capital Entrepreneurs Members Featured at EDC Meeting

The Madison Economic Development Committee got a glimpse into the burgeoning Madison startup scene and heard the “State of the Startup” last night. The Madison EDC meeting was devoted entirely to a discussion on “Building Madison’s Tech Startup Community” and featured a panel of Capital Entrepreneurs members Chris Meyer (Sector67), Brad Grzesiak (Bendyworks), Preston Austin (Murfie), Forrest Woolworth (PerBlue), and Bryan Chan (SupraNet).

The panel highlighted many of the great things already happening in the Madison startup community, and outlined roles the city could play to make it even better. Read more about the meeting here.

PerBlue and UConnect Featured in WI State Journal

Capital Entrepreneurs member company UConnect was featured in this week’s Executive Q&A section of the Wisconsin State Journal. UConnect is a food ordering company that connects restaurants around the country with customers. Over 100 local restaurants are signed up on UConnect’s Madison based site BadgerBites. UConnect is now in 14 different markets around the country and expects to add 13 more by the end of the year. Read the full article here.

PerBlue CEO Justin Beck was also featured in last week’s Wisconsin State Journal Executive Q&A, and PerBlue’s Forrest Woolworth was recently featured in The Capital Times Q&A. Mobile and social gaming company PerBlue launched their latest title in April called Parallel Mafia, which recently passed 200,000 players from around the world.