Capturing the Promise of Mobile Gaming
Back in 2008, mobile gaming was an unexplored frontier. The iPhone was brand-new, and Google’s Android operating system had just been announced. Intrigued by the possibilities of making video games for these new platforms, UW-Madison undergraduates Justin Beck and Andrew Hanson embarked on an ambitious project to develop a mobile role-playing game (RPG) that would utilize smartphones’ GPS. The result was the world’s first mobile location-based RPG, Parallel Kingdom.
Virtual World Products, Real-World Consumers
Today, mobile gaming is a $20 billion global market, and with their company, PerBlue Inc., Beck and Hanson—now the CEO and chief technology officer—have ridden this wave of growth. PerBlue has 25 full-time employees at its office in downtown Madison and is certified as a Qualified New Business Venture, allowing its investors to receive tax credits for a percentage of the amount invested. Its games have been played by more than 10 million people around the world.