There’s this fellow by the name of Josh Buckley out there, ladies and gentlemen, he’s a developer of games, webpages, and environments who’s done so much in the position he’s in that he’s been called “the Harry Potter of startups” by Paul Graham – and now he’s coming for you, Nintendo, and he’s got your little monsters in his sights. This Buckley fellow has apparently been making games and online-based communities since he was in his early teens, having made his first 6-figure sell of a webpage he’d created when he was just 15. He’s since started a game environment by the name of MinoMonsters with his partner TJ Murphy and plan on filling the space left by the absence of massively popular Nintendo-based game Pokemon with said game starting December the 6th.
The game series Pokemon, since its launch in the early 1990s, has generated an estimated $24 billion in sales through its games on the original Gameboy, each handheld gaming system Nintendo put out since then, and several console gaming stations – not to mention sales in plush animals and other toys and peripherals galore. From what we understand, Nintendo has been hesitant to join in on the mobile platforms, that is smartphones and tables, simply because they feel that providing games on said platforms would diminish sales on their own handheld and livingroom-based systems which currently hold sway over all their games.
Buckley is set to fill that gap with MinoMonsters, a game that’s essentially the same monster-fighting and collecting game that PokeMon is in its simplest form, but without the Nintendo name attached (and of course some different characters, gameplay, and storyline to avoid getting into too much trouble with the gaming giant. This week his vision has been given a whole new burst of energy with a $1 million dollar investment from Andreessen Horowitz, SV Angel and Yuri Milner. Buckley noted the following:
“All my friends – everyone – was addicted to ‘Pokemon’ in my generation. Nintendo has just let that brand go stale, and I don’t think it can make a comeback anymore. It’s stagnated.” – Buckley
TJ Murphy, the other piece of this puzzle and the company’s 25 year old president, notes that MinoMonsters is “the antithesis of Silicon Valley startups,” saying that their group has just three engineers while most startups are lead by them. The rest of the employees number only to 8 and are made up of artists and designers. Murphy previously worked with Zynga, the massively profitably social game developer responsible for Farmville. We’ll be taking a peek at the game once it’s released on December 5th – be there!
BONUS check out Buckley in his video blog for the game starting here with episode one: