During the last decade, technology has been rapidly developing in the video game world, and Arizona company Game CoLab is jumping on board. Operating as an “incubator” to develop video game creativity, the company aims to empower and unite video game developers in the Phoenix community.
Game CoLab has worked closely with ASU students in the past and acts as official partner of the ASU Video Game Development Club.
“We get a lot of interest from ASU students. We’ve had game jams at ASU that ended up either getting students hired afterward, or lead to other students applying for ASU,” says Ben Reichert, Game CoLab co-founder and CEO.
Reichert says game jams are a popular event where teams get together and create a prototype for a video game in 48 hours, usually created around a theme to guide creativity.
“One we did last year called ‘Phoenix Makes Games Jam’ was sponsored by a grant from the Arizona Commission of the Arts and the theme was dinosaurs,” Reichert says. “This last year’s Global Game Jam theme was ‘What do we do now?’ which was cool. We also did an Educational Game Hack-a-Thon last year with our partner, Pearson Digital Education.”
Reichert says there is so much more to video games than people realize. It goes beyond the art and coding to branch out to marketing, business management and learning how to make a profit.
“That’s what we want to teach. We want to foster smart and sustainable video game makers and digital media creatives—we’re in this for the long haul. A lot of what we do is also to highlight what is being done and showcase it to as many people as possible,” Reichert says.
Game CoLab is also setting up ways for students and contract workers to receive equity stake in future products and get a percentage of the revenue from the games.
“We’re offering students work on real world projects that will help their portfolios and provide chances of being picked up by a studio,” Reichert says. “All of these games created will be released and have a strong IP to back up their marketing. We’re offering students positions on the teams, and in some cases, the opportunity to pitch their own idea and get their names in the credits of these titles.”
Game CoLab also has access to licensed properties through a new partnership with WePlay.Media, with its properties including MotoGP, Paramount Pictures, 20th Century Fox and Bubblewrap Films.
Aspiring gamers can use the Game CoLab for $350 per month or participate in incubator classes starting in a few months.
Game CoLab, 802 E. Dunlap Avenue, Phoenix, 480.395.1565, gamecolab.org