Leveling up the gaming industry…

Foundation Games Is Casual-Core Done Right

December 10, 2012

By Sana Choudary, YetiZen CEO

Success is measured not only by identifying untapped markets ripe for the picking, but also by recognizing the emergence of new ones arising from changing demographics, cultures, and technology. Foundation Games leads the way in the migration by hardcore gamers away from the age-old console-based dominance towards the mobile platform, and does it with style.

A clear transition is in progress: mobile games now get more playtime than console games. This is not because people are playing console games any less, but mobile games are taking over more of our discretionary time that previously used to be used for books, TV and other activities. People are spending 18% of their game time on console games compared to the 33% they spend on mobile. The $2 billion casual-core or core market consists of those hardcore console gamers demanding a richer, more fulfilling experience on their mobile devices rather than the basic, shallow titles which tend to wow new gamers. These users are ready for a deeper game experience.

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Unusual Studios Gives All Other Sports Games A Massive Kick

December 7, 2012

By Sana Choudary, YetiZen CEO

At YetiZen, our Accelerator portfolio companies break boundaries and kick through the limitations of existing markets in the game industry. Unusual Studios is no exception. Unusual unites brands and the sports they love together in a smart and scalable way on mobile and social platforms, delivering the sports-game experience to a massive, energized audience.

Imagine for a moment: it’s the end of a thrilling match and sports fans are beginning to file out of the stadium. Viewers at home turn off their televisions and bars close as citizens return to their regular, mundane lives. Adrenaline was high just a few moments ago, yet now the cathartic release of post-game excitement is half-heartedly accepted by all. Fans yearn for the next game, drudging through an entire week devoid of the rush of seeing their teams on the field in a battle of wits and athleticism.

If you’re a sports fan, you’ve probably experienced this all yourself. After the game ends, whether we are in the stands or in front of the TV, we desperately crave more sports-related content. What better way to capture that fervor than through readily accessible mobile devices?

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CrocPond: Building Character With Characters

December 6, 2012

By Sana Choudary, YetiZen CEO

According to the Kaiser Foundation, 90% of parents in the U.S. believe that the content their 5-9 year old children are getting is inappropriate. This presents increasingly dire implications as parents try to socialize our kids during their key years of development. With kids spending an ever-increasing amount of time online and interacting with various platforms and devices, the messages they see and hear will come from the media that they consume.

Parents are the providers of that media, and they all demand content that not only eases at least some part of their anxiety but also guarantees positive, teachable messages to their children.

Trying to deliver to this big, demanding market by producing games that seem to fulfill the need is an old idea. These attempts have failed due to misguided approaches: acting as a game factory instead of a game franchise. The key to avoiding these failures is knowing the difference.

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Why Selfpubd? Returning “Independence” to Indie Game Developers

November 29, 2012

By Sana Choudary, YetiZen CEO

We are often asked why we chose Selfpubd for the YetiZen accelerator program. Our answer-returning independence to indies!

Successful Indie game studios all eventually encounter the same dilemma.  When it’s time to publish, many will place their bets on big-name publishers that have the financial resources and supposed expertise available to push the product to a successful release.

But signing with a publisher for an Indie game studio has always been a high risk, high cost decision.  The time and money put into marketing, testing, and distribution can vanish instantly with the wrong publisher. They also tend to demand the rights to the IP, which can potentially cost a studio its control over crucial aspects of the game’s production and ultimately destroying the brand’s image if poorly handled by the publisher.

Basically, sell-out or lose-out?

Big publishing companies can create big problems, so it’s abundantly clear that the Indie development industry is in desperate need of a low risk, low cost testing and publishing platform.

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YetiZen Round 3

May 2, 2012

Hello everyone,

With great pleasure we would like to introduce you to YetiZen round 3 companies.


Control games with your touch device!

OKeez is the creator of controller technologies that allow you to use your smartphone and tablet to control any application or game on any screen anywhere. The first vertical Okeez is focusing on is the MMO games market. It is currently in closed beta with its Star Wars The Old Republic tablet controller and talking to several other major MMO game publishers to finalize partnerships.

Okeez is based in Belgium and has received seed funding.

Excited by the vision? Feel you can help them in design, monetization and setting up relevant partnerships? You can reach them on Twitter @Chris_OKeez


Games with Style!

Frenzoo is pioneering 3D lifestyle games for women, under the brand Me Girl. Their first game “Dress Me Girl” is the world’s first 3d fashion game on mobile and grew to over 300,000 users organically in its beta, and is launching on Android, iOS and Kindle Fire. Behind their games is a flexible avatar technology and creation platform that brings characters to life.

Based in the US and Hong Kong, they are backed by the co-founders of Skype and love all things creative and fun.

Come play at


RivalMe is WordsWithFriends for Trivia. Compete on the field of knowledge and earn Eternal Bragging Rights! Have a Battle of Minds with your friends to see who knows the most about your favorite subjects, from TV shows to sports to hundreds of other topics. Play with friends, at a bar, or on your own on ANY DEVICE- iPhone, Android, iPad/Tablet, Facebook, browser or TV. Go to and start right away!

RivalMe is the world’s leader in social mobile trivia. Our artificially-intelligent Smart Gaming Engine(TM) creates great questions in subjects players like based on their social graphs and previous answers.


Social media marketers spend more $3 billion yearly. However, more than 50% of their consumers remained uninterested and don’t notice these campaigns, leading to lower brand awareness and recall.

Gametize creates digital platforms that increase audience engagement through gamification. Its flagshop product, GameMaki, is a white-label marketing platform for marketers to increase the engagement with real world challenges such as “wear green to Starbucks”, which not only brings feet to the locations itself, but also spread buzz and excitement to consumers and turn them into fans.

Anyone can claim these fun, social challenges anytime, anywhere, for bragging rights, points and virtual items that can become discounts or giveaways. Coupled with game dynamics such as team plays and leader boards, these fun, social challenges not only enable consumers to interact with the brands, but also amongst each other. Marketers using GameMaki can publish their campaigns on iOS, their own websites or Facebook page, and The Android app will be launched in June 2012.

Accept the challenge to be our partner for epic wins! or drop us a mail at [email protected]! Join us in our journey to be the future of gamified marketing. makes games starring you and your friends. They use existing social network data to put faces, personalities, and relationships instantly in the game. So when you play a game, you might be rescuing your wife from a zombie horde of your college buddies or saving the world from your evil ex-boss.

Give it a try today by signing up at and playing 4 Gameface games in the Apple app store: ZombieFace, PuppetFace, and NomNomFace.

We would love to hear your feedback! For comments and partnership inquiries, please contact us at [email protected]


70 million grandparents in the US spend $23 billion a year on toys and gifts for their grandkids. It is one of the fastest growing yet underserved markets.

Emota is tapping into this market, by introducing a series of apps and internet-connected toys that let the whole family come together and share intimate moments. For example, a child can hug an Emota-powered teddy bear, and his grandma will see the gesture on her TV screen halfway across the world. When it comes to personal expression, that’s a game-changer!

After establishing Emota in the grandparent market, Emota will rapidly expand into other relationship categories.

Please visit for more information.


Workshop: Scott Foe

September 21, 2011

Experienced Game Producer & Operations Manager Scott Foe came by YetiZen today to describe how to craft effective strategies for game development. Scott has worn many hats in the games industry. He has worked on large-scale projects on the Sega Dreamcast and the Nokia N-Gage, as well as smaller-scale projects in social and mobile gaming. Leaving out the names of those involved, Scott regaled us with some of the horror stories from his career, and described the factors that led to the worst project that he has ever been involved with. He went on to discuss how game development has transformed over the years, and described which strategies he believes are best suited for today’s climate. He explained which methodologies are best suited for indie and start-up companies. He described the need for authority and accountability, and how it figures into the development cycle. Scott’s workshop left us with a firmer grasp on how to structure our production cycles and make better estimations of project-life-cycle.

Workshop: Noah Falstein

September 20, 2011

Noah Falstein, one of the original innovators in the games space, and Co-Founder & Chief Creative Officer at Suddenly Social, paid a visit to YetiZen today to discuss the current state of game design. Noah was a member of the LucasArts dream team. Along with his colleagues, he helped create many of the mechanics that drive today’s social games. Among other accomplishments, Noah was part of the team that first coined the term “avatar.” He helped create the very first virtual world, Habitat, on the Commodore 64. He described how game mechanics have changed over time, as well as how video games can take inspiration from other forms of entertainment (sports, board games, basic social interaction) and be used to create new and exciting concepts. Together, we brainstormed new ways to make a more collaborative experience fueled by positive interaction. Noah’s workshop left us inspired to create new game-changing mechanics that break the mold of conventional social gaming.

Workshop: Danny Maco

September 19, 2011

Danny Maco, CEO at Woophy Inc, came by YetiZen today to help us get back to the basics of pitch presentations. Danny explained that a pitch should demonstrate how your process is predictable, repeatable and scaleable. These three components are of the utmost importance in Danny’s opinion. He explained how to prove to investors that you will be able to repeatedly make a hit product, without breaking your infrastructure. He stressed the importance of cohesion and scope when constructing a pitch, and brainstormed new ways to describe a game-based company to an investor who doesn’t know anything about the gaming space. Danny shared his method for creating stories that are alluring and that make people want to connect with what you’re saying. He also stressed the importance of having a simple message that is effortlessly memorable. Danny’s workshop filled us with the knowledge  to make our pitches appeal to a more diverse audience of investors.

Workshop: Jean-Francois Gauthier

September 19, 2011

Tech Strategy & Finance Expert Jean-Francois Gauthier, CFO & Co-Founder at Eolica Power,  shared his personal incite incite into how to successfully pitch to investors. Jean-Francois explained that VC and Angel investors respond positively to visceral emotions. He shared some ways to capitalize on these emotions to make sure that your presentation is memorable. Investors are trying to make quick & informed decisions about whether your company fits in with their model,  so Jean-Francois emphasized the need to excite them in the first 5 minutes of a presentation. Do you have their undivided attention? Are they excited, titillated and on the edge of their seat? Jean-Francois explained some tactics for exciting investors, tactics that make investors  feel as though they would be missing out if they did not invest in your company. He wound down his presentation by laying out some concrete ways to make your first 5-7 slides as interesting as possible. These slides either make or break your presentation, so he explained what types of positive messages you should include on your slides. In the end, we left Jean-Francois’ workshop knowing how to create presentations  that  compel investors to share your company with their friends and colleagues.

Workshop: Patrick Mork

August 31, 2011

Product, Place, Promotion and Price. It’s one thing to know the 4 P’s of Marketing, but having a deeper understanding of why the 4 P’s of Marketing are so crucial to a company’s success can help you find the magic formula for creating new and innovative marketing strategies. Our enlightened marketing advisor Patrick Mork, Marketing Director of Mobile Apps at Google, sat down with us today to share his accumulated wisdom and experience. A marketeer by trade, Patrick got his start in the games industry doing campaigns and account management for Java games on I-play. Not content to stay put, Patrick went on to work as European Marketing Director for Glu Games, and later as Chief Marketing Officer at GetJar (where he helped raise 42 million in VC funding), before taking his skills to Google. During his visit to YetiZen, Patrick condensed his accrued marketing knowledge into practical tips on how to increase a product’s visibility, using some well-known companies like Apple as examples of marketing campaigns that have propelled businesses to the next level. He even went on to brainstorm some clever, unconventional marketing strategies and described how to to take full advantage of different distribution channels by creating compelling brand marketing. He concluded by discussing how to successfully use reiteration to help your product continue to sell in the future. Patrick’s workshop opened our eyes to many new, creative ways to market our games.