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IGF winner, Powerhead CEO opening Irish company with Digital Capital funding

IGF winner, Powerhead CEO opening Irish company with Digital Capital funding

February 28, 2012 | By Eric Caoili

Digital Capital, the newly created fund for downloadable game developers, has selected Independent Games Festival award winner and Powerhead Games CEO/creative director Jason Schreiber (Async Corp.) as its first partner.

As part of that partnership, Switzerland-based Digital Capital and Schreiber have formed a new joint company called Digital Power Entertainment in Dublin, which will work with the Powerhead Games studio in New York City on a new IP that will release to unspecified digital platforms in early 2013.

Powerhead has mostly worked on licensed handheld titles (e.g. Ubisoft's Imagine and Petz series) since it was founded in 2000, but it's also released a handful of original games to critical acclaim, such as 2010 Mobile IGF winner Glow Artisan (Best Mobile Game Design) and 2012 IGF finalist Async Corp. (Best Mobile Game).

The company was close to shuttering last June, though, as it laid off all twelve of its development-based employees just as it was releasing Async Corp. Powerhead has recovered since then, and Schreiber says Powerhead will receive a contract to fulfill a large part of the development work for Digital Power Entertainment.

"In mid-2011 we went through a rough time financially and had to scale back in a big way," said Schreiber in a recent interview with Gamasutra about Async Corp. "But Powerhead is primed for a resurgent 2012."

Previous to founding Powerhead twelve years ago, he was a senior producer at now defunct developer and publisher GT Interactive Software, where he helped launch Epic Games' Unreal franchise and managed the company's product development department in New York. He also was a producer at Acclaim Entertainment, Hi Tech Expressions, and Simon & Schuster.

Digital Capital announced its formation earlier this month as a group committed to connecting investors with developers that have "brilliant digital ideas." The firm says it can offer developers of digitally distributed games a "fairer deal" than what they might negotiate through other capital-raising efforts.

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