Bitcoin Magazine will be covering each member of Swarm Class #1 leading up to their demo day next week on November 5th. We’ve written about Swarm, but for those who don’t know, Swarm rewards early backers by giving out more project coins at the start of a crowdsale. Eventually, as the project gets past certain milestones, those who toss bitcoin to help the project get assets tied to that project that are visible in a Counterparty Wallet.
Ruben Alexander: How did you first get involved with video game development?
Dan Mueller (CEO of Judobaby): I started in high school. I was working at a pizza place when I got a phone call from a friend of my brother. He said “I hear you are a pretty good game player. Winning local tournaments and such. You want to come work for me in San Francisco as a game tester? We will pay you more than you are making now and you can start tomorrow.” I didn’t even believe him at first, but he said it was legit, so I told the staff at the pizza place “I quit. No two weeks notice, I’m leaving right now.” I hung up the phone, walked out the door, and I have been working in video games ever since. Because of the tournaments, I went on to write various “Official Strategy Guides” for Brady Games and Dimension Publishing, like Mortal Kombat, and Tekken, along with my work partner Ben Cureton (also still working in games), and bounced around [as a game] test[er] for a bit before getting hired at Sony as Producer/Designer. Later on, our Sony team split off to start BottleRocket Entertainment, where we were lucky enough to work with famed animator Floyd Bishop, and, eventually I started Judobaby Inc. Along the way, I have produced and designed products that received both critical acclaim and commercial success. What I’m most proud of in this regard is that EVERY game I worked on (or project) has gone to market. That is pretty rare in the game industry.
Why did you choose to partner with the NFL?
The NFL Players Assocation actually sought us out. Ricky Medina, Senior Business Development Manager of the NFL Players Association said, “There is nothing else on the market like the Pet Sports League product” and “It is important for the NFL Players Association to integrate with the PSL franchise.” They see us as a way to reach males & females of all generations and help them integrate into American Football in a fun way.
How did you get Jerry Rice as a character in your Jerry Rice & Nitus’ Football game?
Jerry Rice came to us through one of our investors, Pierre Buljan, with whom he has a long time friendship. As a lot of players do (during, and post NFL career), Jerry was looking for investments. With Judobaby, he fell in love. The company and inital Dog Football game captured what Jerry is all about: Family, Dogs, and Football. After initial meeting, he was amazed by the quality of the product and really excited to get involved. We asked if he would return in 1 weeks time. This allowed us to reach out to game industry marketing guru Al Nilsen, whom advised pitching Jerry Rice on being name & likeness for Dog Football, as well as being the commisioner of the Pet Sports League, along with his dog Leonitus (aka Nitus’). Jerry loved the idea and the rest is history. Marshawn Lynch also came to us, in similiar manner, through our business partner Andrew (AK) Forthmann and his wife Lori. Actually, there is quite a list of celebrity atheletes, in the NFL and beyond, whom have requested to be part of the Pet Sports League franchise.
Can you talk more about the Pet Sports League?
The Pet Sports League (PSL) brand uniquely combines the love of Pets, the excitement of Sports, and celebrated Professional Athletes.
Growth plans for Pet Sports League (PSL) branded products include a vast array of domesticated and wild animals featured in a wide variety of professional sports, each titled with name and likeness of relevant premiere athletes to drive consumer sales, (e.g. “Cat & Dog Soccer,” focusing on U.S. & international markets, Wild World Golf, and Big Game Basketball).
In addition to current Pet Sports League (PSL) athletes, representing California and Seattle based teams (Forty-Niners & Seahawks), JUDOBABY INC.’s contractual agreement with the NFL Players Association (NFLPA) enables the company to progressively increase national sales by selectively adding premiere players associated with teams within the top 20 grossing NFL Franchise markets.
[The] intial plan is to launch said Jerry Rice & Nitus’ Dog Football (AAA rated product), onto all popular mobile devices along with simultaneous launch of Marshawn Lynch & Ice’s Dog Football, starring Marshawn Lynch, aka “Beast Mode,” famed running back who carried the Seattle Seahawks to the 2013 Super Bowl win, along with a minimum of two additional Core Assets (e.g. Dog Breeds & Celebrity Quarterbacks). Said mobile products currently contain over 600 premium in-app sales revenue assets previously produced & available for purchase.
Will your games be available in a Humble Bundle?
Release through Humble Bundle is a possiblity. Our Swarm backers will have a voice in the company direction, and, it will be interesting to receive their votes in this regard. Currently, players can download a free, limited, PC version of the game by going to the Judobaby.com or PetSportsLeague.com websites. The full PC version of the game is also available online.