Leveling up the gaming industry…

Silicon Valley 40 under 40: Blake Commagere

December 14, 2013

Our awesome mentor Blake Commagere is one of Biz Journals 40 under 40. You go Blake!

Blake Commagere created the first version of “Causes on Facebook,” which has raised over $20 million for various charities and created the social gaming category on social networks by developing some of the most popular apps (Zombies and Vampires) on Facebook Inc. to date with more than 50 millions users.

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YetiZen @ AppNation

December 6, 2013

(Sana Choudary, CEO of YetiZen at AppNation)

Our CEO, Sana Choudary was invited to speak at AppNation on Tuesday afternoon on game investment patterns. The media has been portraying game investments as dead and that VC money doesn’t invest in game studios, instead deals goes to platform companies — however, Sana discovered this was not true. In fact, our numbers show the complete opposite.

The talk was also covered by Dean Takahashi at VentureBeat this morning.

If you missed the talk, you can check out Sana’s slides here. Feel free to tweet her questions and comments @SanaOnGames.

Special thanks to our mentor Jerry Darko from Raymond James for providing us the raw data in our research. The data is also made publicly here. If you have any questions on the raw data please contact him via linkedin or email at jerry[dot]darko[at]raymondjames[dot]com

November 20, 2013

From YetiZen Gamasutra Press Release

Launch of the 1st YetiZen Boot Camp Program for Latin American Game Studios

Raising all ships, one game studio at a time

YetiZen, the wildly popular accelerator for gaming companies and the host of the YetiZen Innovation Lab has launched its first ever boot camp program for game studios coming from emerging gaming ecosystems.

YetiZen recognizes that there are many promising game studios across the world. Unfortunately, due to a lack of a developed ecosystem and with it limited access to information, connections, and mentorship these companies are often unable to achieve the success they otherwise can. San Francisco on the other hand is the world’s densest community of game developers anywhere and has in abundance what these other ecosystem’s lack. The boot camp program is YetiZen’s solution to address this problem and raise all ships in gaming.

In collaboration with Global Game Designers Guild or GGDG, YetiZen’s Latin American partner YetiZen has brought nine game studios from across Colombia and Mexico to the YetiZen boot camp. Four of these companies are attending the boot camp online while the other five are in person at the YetiZen Innovation Lab.

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Selfpubd launches first ever game discount bundle for iOS

October 18, 2013

Selfpubd, a YetiZen portfolio company, has created a process where iPhone users can purchase games well below the ninety-nine cent price point, and still completely use iTunes distribution. The company, through it’s game promotion site Thumb Arcade, has leveraged it’s over 300 independent game companies to put together this groundbreaking discount bundle. This first offer includes ten games, multiple award winners and featured titles, at a 79% discount. The bundle, as it’s called, has a retail value of $23.90 and is on sale for just $5 (equivalent to 50 cents each).

“We were told that it can’t be done,” says Andy Rosic, founder of Selfpubd, the parent company of Thumb Arcade. “But Selfpubd’s central goal is to reimagine the seriously disjointed app discovery process, so we stayed at it until it became a reality.” becomes available on October 18, 2013 at 6am PST, and will run through October 31st, unless sales reach their maximum cutoff and it closes early. Game developers get an affordable discovery boost, and game playing users get a discount where it didn’t exist before.

Who won the August Money Game Design Jam?

September 14, 2013

It’s the moment you have all been waiting for! After multiple painstaking days of combing through the game design documents of our three finalists, Radio City Music Brawl, SuperScrapers, and Entrepreneur from our August 23-25th – Money Game Design Jam, we have reach a conclusion!

Join us in congratulating our winner of the $15,000 grand prize:

Kenny Anderson


It was a tough decision to make between the three teams, but Kenny’s game design won us over.

We want to thank everybody that participated in our Money Game Design Jam! We hope to see you again in the near future!

YetiZen Portfolio Company Exits!

September 5, 2013

A portfolio company of our YetiZen Accelerator Program has exited!

“PlayFirst has acquired the two-person startup Big Head Mode to improve its capability to target its players with useful cross promotions.”

“San Francisco-based PlayFirst is also hiring the founders of Big Head Mode. Tipatat Chennavasin will join PlayFirst as director of product management, and Richard Au will be PlayFirst’s senior director of engineering. PlayFirst chief exec Marco DeMiroz said in an exclusive interview with GamesBeat that Big Head Mode’s capability to predict the behavior and tastes of gamers makes it relevant to PlayFirst, which wants to effectively cross-promote its games to players who are likely to accept the promotions.”

Read more at VentureBeat

Recap of the world’s first ever money design jam!

August 29, 2013

This last weekend YetiZen organized the world’s first ever money design jam. The goal create games that solve the world wide financial literacy epidemic. We were focused on helping two groups 1) the professional and college educated but financially illiterate population often in student loan debt and 2) the underbanked and underprivileged who do not qualify for typical bank accounts.

Since financial habits developed in high school becomes compounded by the time both groups start working we focused on building games that help high school kids develop financial literacy skills.

Hear Steve Lauder from our sponsor Amtrust Financial explain the problem and invite us to co-create the vision:

Great fun was had by all! We laughed, we learned, we loved it! The Money Game Design Jam is a success!

The Yetis would like to thank all of those that participated and attended! We had excellent submissions from over 20 teams and must say the competition was intense, leaving the judges hands full picking the finalists.

Congratulations to our 3 finalists Radio City Music Brawl, Entrepreneur, and SkyScraper who are now competing against each other for the $15,000 game design document prize over the next two weeks! We wish them the best of luck!

Here is the weekend in pictures

The King of the Yeti with the wonderful sponsors Amtrust Financial, YetiZen couldn’t have asked for a better partner!

A brilliant sound guy walks into the design jam looking for a team to work with and Sana points him to Radio City Music Brawl. Good thing too as they are one of the three finalists!

Even significant others came in to support the competitors!

The calm just before the battle began!

More Photo Here: