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A massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG), MegaBits is a smartphone game played in the ‘real world’ through being reactive to each player’s environment. The company launched at Startup Weekend Pittsburgh in 2012, and the game’s community consists of around 1,000 users.

MegaBits allows users to catch, train and battle monsters. The MB team has created a customized game world by combining real-time map and weather data with an 8-bit design.

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“We’ve had to adapt our product to a more modern, mobile gaming system,” MegaBits founder Patrick Perini said. “We’ve learned the lesson from our alpha and beta process that we can’t just copy traditional [role playing games]…MegaBits is unique in its pairing of location-based augmented reality with the popular monster training genre. Unlike other mobile games, MegaBits creates a real-world-based experience that is ever-changing and evolving.”

MegaBits hopes to progress the depth of the MMORPG experience for gamers through greater integration of a player’s environment, while developing more fluid in-app spending opportunities. Perini believes MegaBits is an example of how game platforms can be grown like any other kind of startup.

“Mobile gaming is full of pain points; in-app purchase models, general inanity, poor controls, and [MegaBits] is uniquely positioned to address many of these issues, and create a mature mobile gaming experience,” Perini said. “The mobile gaming market is crowded. And though we’ve carved out an identifiable niche, we still have to find their attention and keep their attention.”

The ‘right thing,’ in the case of MegaBits, is a more dynamic world of pixelated monster hunting– built upon the already-validated market demand for MMORPGs on smartphones. MegaBits currently has six full-time employees, of whom Perini is the only remaining Startup Weekend member.

“At the beginning of 2014, I was fielding other job offers and genuinely considering closing up shop, before the product even got to market,” Perini said. “When the Google Maps Pokémon Challenge launched, I was able to corral user response into evidence of market demand, and use that [to] raise our most recent round of funding.”

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Slide used in the MegaBits Reddit AMA to show market demand.

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As you can see from the MegaBits launch party, there is no shortage of enthusiasm with this team of gamers. Check out megabitsapp.com for product updates, information about MMORPGs, and for a free download.

 

BY THE NUMBERS:

Timeline:
Sep 2012, Startup Weekend
Jan 2013, Kickstarter
June 2013, AlphaLab
Oct 2013, Alpha shipped
May 2014, Seed raised
June 2014, Beta shipped
Startup IMPACT Story Questions
Jan 2015, Release with day-1 revenue

Employees:
Andrew Hart (lead developer)
Ryan Hestin (architect & engineer)
Pat Kelley (game & sound design)
Vinh Duong (graphic design)
Kaeli Hood (writer)
Ben Sanders (intern: art)

Jobs created:
10 including freelancers

Customers served:
1000

Products shipped:
1

Funding secured:
1 round + incubation

Industry:
mobile games

City:
Pittsburgh, PA

Country:
USA

Platform:
Mobile


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Ross Buchanan