Mississauga, Canada – In an unusual twist on the standard US-Canada business paradigm, Canadian mobile game publisher, Brisk Mobile is working to help US-based game developers like YETi CGI succeed in the ever competitive mobile game market. It is not by chance that Brisk finds itself in the position of supporting US-based start-ups: timing, location and a storied past have helped to build an impressive publishing platform.
Lehman Brothers & the legacy of Tira Wireless:
Ironically, it was the US stock market crash of 2008 that sparked the creation of Brisk Mobile and indeed fostered several successful Toronto-based tech companies including Wattpad, Five Mobile (recently purchase by Zynga) and Jazinga. These businesses all have one thing in common. All of their founders hail from a now defunct company called Tira Wireless. In an era where games were made on oy 32k of memory, it was a company that was ahead of its time. Founded in 2001, Toronto-based mobile content solutions provider Tira was eventually taken down by the 2008 collapse of one of their investors, Lehman Brothers Venture Partners but the legacy of Tira’s contribution to mobile endures via the success of its alumni.
In the case of Brisk Mobile, this storied past lives on through Founder and CEO Gary Toste and Director of Games, Tim Harrison- both veterans of game development and former employees of Tira Wireless. Their breakout castle defense game, Medieval even beat out Angry Birds to become the number one game in the app store for two full weeks in 2010. Many successful games and over 10 million downloads later, Brisk has now acquired the foundation and distribution footprint to support other start-ups. It is a publisher/developer business model that Harrison feels is necessary in a market where standing out as a brand is becoming increasingly difficult.
Toronto, Canada is a mecca for game developers:
It is no coincidence that Brisk and others find themselves based in Toronto, Canada. According to the Entertainment Software Organization of Canada, Canada’s video game development industry ranks third in the world. The talent pool that supports this statistic has intersected with the explosive changes that have occurred since 2007 in the North American mobile market. Add to this the now 1 billion smartphones in use worldwide and it is no surprise that Google, Ubisoft and other major players are heavily vested in the region.
Toronto in particular is a hub for mobile game development. A recently published report entitled, Mobile Innovation: Ontario’s Growing Mobile Content, Services, and Applications Industry 2012 supports this position. Published by the Mobile Experience and Innovation Centre the report states: “There is a rare opportunity for Ontario/Greater Toronto Area to be a leader globally by exploiting its strengths in the industry. Indeed the region benefits from access to high quality potential hires, is particularly rich in terms of technical skills, an ideal location with access to major cities, has a proactive and supportive public sector and a large cluster in mobile that can drive synergies.”
According to Harrison, “Toronto-based talent has helped to build Brisk’s publishing platform- the extension of this is to use our success to help other developers launch their products.” While in San Francisco for the Game Developers Conference in 2012 Harrison recognized the opportunity as well as the changing landscape. “Developers were wary of just putting themselves out there. In a market that could have previously made a small shop successful the new sentiment was one of caution. How do you compete with the big brands on mobile? What that came down to for me was identifying the properties with potential and partnering to leverage our exposure.” As Harrison looks to expand Brisk’s game publishing venture, he is riding high on the success of his first cross-border partnership, Roaming Fortress.
This past December, Brisk teamed up with Michigan-based YETi CGI and at the height of the ultra competitive Christmas app store games market launched a unique tower defense game titled, Roaming Fortress. YETi’s creation features exceptional graphics, a unique combat system using over 50 squads and 75 levels of game play. With the help of Brisk’s team, Apple recognized its worth immediately, including Roaming Fortress in their prestigious ‘New & Noteworthy’ section in over 10 countries.
Primarily a services-based game developer with a great track record, YETi CGI had yet to launch it’s own game and needed backup. “We are committed to creating great games and Brisk Mobile has been hugely supportive, our partnership with them gives us the ability to focus on what we do best: create and innovate,” said Cory Heald, Creative Lead and CEO of YETi CGI. With over 200,000 downloads on iPads alone since Christmas and an iPhone version about to be launched, Harrison knows got it right. “The US has a legacy of innovation, risk taking and talent. I wanted to tap into all of those things. That YETi CGI was, literally, across the lake, made it all the more attractive to cooperate with them to do something revolutionary.”
About YETi CGI:
Founded in 2010, YETi CGI, based in Grand Rapids, Michigan, is a leading developer of mobile games. Lead by Cory Heald (Creative Lead), Joshua Freeney (Technology Lead), and Ward Makielski (Design Lead), YETi specializes in original content that features rich graphics and killer UX/UI experiences.
Pricing and Availability:
Roaming Fortress 1.0 is Free and available worldwide exclusively through the App Store in the Games category. It is also available for Android. Brisk Mobile’s other games include Medieval, Medieval HD, Blackwater, Drake’s Tower, and Battle for Cydonia.
Headquartered in Mississauga, Canada, Brisk Mobile Inc. is a privately held corporation founded in 2008 by Gary Toste. Leveraging their longtime experience in both game and application development, Brisk Mobile was founded for the purpose of publishing unique, yet compelling games for the iPhone platform, with a major emphasis on total customer satisfaction. Many of their games remain in top ranking on the App Store today. Copyright (C) 2008-2013 Brisk Mobile Inc. All Rights Reserved. Apple, the Apple logo, iPhone and iPod are registered trademarks of Apple Inc. in the U.S. and/or other countries.