Xona Games: Featured in Chronicle Herald
Monday, May 30, 2011
By: Matthew Doucette

Xona Games featured in the Chronicle Herald business section (again), article titled, "Game plan":

Game plan
Yarmouth brothers are finding success in ‘huge’ niche market for their retro video games
By MARTHA WILSON | Thriving in tough times
Mon, May 30 - 4:54 AM


Matthew Doucette in his Yarmouth production studio (BRIAN MEDEL / Yarmouth Bureau)

OF ALL THE nifty-sounding ways of making money (flying planes, winning an Idol competition, prospecting for gold), creating new games would rank near the top.

Yarmouth-based Xona Games, founded by brothers Matthew and Jason Doucette, has created a stir in the gaming industry. Their company has an interesting niche: retro games, which, as Matthew explains, have "a nostalgic feel."

He says, "Our games create this feeling because they are part of a genre born 30 years ago, the ‘shoot ’em up’ genre, which is basically 2-D spaceship shooter games." Xona’s twist has been to amp up the intensity level and graphics of the genre.

Game development is done in-house, with everything except the music done internally. According to Matthew Doucette, "The retro gaming niche is huge, and will likely always be huge because these game play concepts are tried and proven and matured. In the same breath, I have to say that there’s a lot of indie developers trying to make their mark in it, so unless you are one of the top games out of literally thousands, you will not be noticed."

He says he’s unaware of any other Canadian game studios that share Xona’s focus on developing retro games, but adds that there are probably studios in this country that are creating some. Frequently, he points out, you buy and play a game without knowing where it was created.

Xona’s games are proven winners, racking up multiple awards and landing on bestseller lists worldwide. In fact, the global nature of their business model is what makes it possible for the company to be based in Yarmouth.

Doucette explains their game distribution: "We sell them via Xbox LIVE, which is Microsoft’s digital distribution service on the Xbox 360 and Windows Phone 7. This is without a publisher. So there’s the developer, us, and the distributor, Microsoft."

He adds, "It’s a global marketplace with global competition, so locations are almost meaningless to us. It never enters the equation."

Eric Crowell, director of the Saint Mary’s University Business Development Centre, says this is a striking example of the ways Nova Scotian entrepreneurs can use technology to reach customers around the world.

"By setting up their company in a way that allows them to operate essentially outside geographic restrictions, they are able to create the lifestyle they want," Crowell says. "They get to live in the city of their choice. This is something that’s very attractive to many entrepreneurs. For people in Atlantic Canada, it’s really helpful to be aware of new business models, new distribution channels, and new approaches, since these can have a tremendous effect on decisions you make going forward."

Crowell suggests looking at the leaders in your own industry as well as in similar fields to see how different businesses are approaching geographic challenges. "Ask yourself, ‘Is that something that could work here? Do you really need to be in the United States, or Toronto, or even Halifax? What can the Internet do to offset any downside and connect you to people you need to reach?’"

Watch for changes, too, Crowell says. "We will see more changes going forward, as new services and new models keep springing up. So it’s a topic to keep an eye on. No doubt, there are lots of fresh approaches still to come."

Thriving in Tough Times is a series developed by the Saint Mary’s University Business Development Centre in Halifax.

- http://www.thechronicleherald.ca/Business/1245958.html

Thanks to Martha Wilson for interviewing and featuring us!

 

More Xona Games Articles:

2017/Oct/14 Xbox LIVE Indie Games Officially Shut Down
2017/Oct/02 Matthew Doucette: Xbox MVP Award!
2017/Apr/10 Exploring Non-Euclidean Geometry
2017/Mar/30 PAX East 2017 Wrap Up
2017/Mar/26 GDC 2017 Wrap Up
2016/Dec/06 Matthew Doucette: Featured in Canada Business Network
2016/Oct/17 Xona Games: Featured by Futurpreneur
2016/Oct/06 Random: 3rd Place at Atlantic Lottery Hackathon
2016/Aug/01 Matthew Doucette: Xbox MVP Award!
2016/Jul/21 Practicing Self-Care as an Entrepreneur
2016/Jul/06 Ego is the Enemy
2016/Jul/05 XNA 5.0 Officially Declined by Microsoft
2016/Jun/28 Kickstarter: Xydonia: Action Packed Japanese Inspired Retro Shmup
2016/Jun/12 Xona Games: Featured on CJLS Radio
2016/Jun/08 Xona Games: Featured in Yarmouth Vanguard
2016/Jun/01 Xona Games: Featured in The Chronicle Herald
2015/Oct/05 Futurpreneur Funds Xona Games
2015/Sep/23 Matthew Doucette Pitching Xona Games at Invest Atlantic
2015/Jul/30 Matthew Doucette: Completed 100 Xbox LIVE Games!
2015/Jul/17 Xona Games: Featured in Progress Magazine
2015/Jun/29 Matthew Doucette: Keynote Speaker at Game Space AV
2015/Mar/22 Matthew Doucette: CJLS Radio Interview on Bizcraft
2015/Mar/14 Matthew Doucette: Keynote Speaker at Bizcraft
2015/Feb/12 Matthew Doucette: Guest Speaker on Artificial Intelligence
2014/Sep/19 Google Adsense
2014/Aug/18 Xona Games Lands $50,000 ACOA Funding
2014/Aug/16 Halifax Scramble S (Wrap Up)
2014/Aug/10 How Many Games Does a Game Developer Own?
2014/Aug/04 Kickstarter: Elysian Shadows, a Next-Gen 2D RPG
2014/Jul/25 Kickstarter: Funded Viridis, an Indie Shmup
2014/Jul/17 Xona Games in Wikipedia!
2014/Jun/27 Xona Games: Featured in Greater Halifax
2014/Jun/10 Xona Games: Featured in Yarmouth Vanguard
2014/Jun/06 Alexander Bruce: Inspirational Indie Developer
2014/Jun/05 Matthew Doucette: Guest Speaker at 1T
2014/Apr/02 Domains, Domains, Domains
2014/Mar/10 Matthew Doucette: Interviewed on Indie Dev Podcast
2014/Mar/04 Matthew Doucette: Interviewed on Game Code TV
2014/Mar/01 Xona Games: Featured in Official Xbox Magazine
2014/Feb/27 Xona Games: Announced as Official ID@Xbox Developer
2014/Feb/24 Matthew Doucette: 80 Completed Xbox LIVE Games
2014/Feb/23 Xona Games & Turbulenz Win $50,000 Tizen App Challenge
2014/Feb/18 Xona Games: Featured in Connected for Business
2014/Feb/17 Halifax Scramble Wrap Up
2014/Feb/15 Matthew Doucette Wins Raiden Fighters Jet Tournament
2014/Feb/14 Xona Games Shmup Tournament
2014/Jan/22 Xona Games: Interviewed by Rogers
2013/Dec/05 Don't Forget, Xona Games is in ID@Xbox too!
2013/Nov/07 Matthew Doucette: Guest Speaker at Entrepreneurship Seminar
2013/Oct/29 Xona Games Wins $20,000 Rogers Big Idea Contest
2013/Oct/25 Halifax Game Jam 2013 Wrap Up
2013/Oct/17 GDC 2014, Here We Come!
2013/Oct/14 Xona Games Supports NSGDA
2013/Sep/17 Running CityDesk on Windows Vista/7/8/10
2013/Sep/12 Xona Games Accepted in ID@Xbox
2013/Sep/09 Our Own NES Game Genie Codes
2013/Sep/03 Kickstarter: Funded Mighty No. 9!
2013/Aug/27 Take Risks
2013/Jul/25 Indie Royale's Indie Gamer Chick Bundle
2013/Jul/23 We're featured in Yarmouth Vanguard
2013/Jul/18 We're featured in Nova Scotia's ICT 2013 Sector Report
2013/Jun/25 Jalloo 2013 Wrap Up
2013/May/20 Sad News on Radiangames' First F2P, Bombcats
2013/May/14 Xonatron Breaks Top 10,000 on TrueAchievements
2013/May/02 Xona Games: Interviewed by Independent Gaming
2013/May/02 Funded Another Retro Kickstarter: Chasm
2013/Apr/29 Two Cool Kickstarter Projects
2013/Apr/25 GDC 2013 Wrap Up
2013/Apr/23 PAX East 2013 Wrap Up
2013/Apr/10 Kickstarter: Shmup Devs Unite!
2013/Mar/27 GDC 2013: Beating Score Rush in 0:10:20
2013/Mar/25 Xona Games Featured in Develop Magazine, Thrice!
2013/Mar/23 PAX East 2013: Matthew Wins Geometry Wars 2 Tournament
2013/Mar/13 Matthew Doucette Interviewed on Monetization Practices
2013/Jan/28 Don't Stop
2013/Jan/08 Xona Games: Jason Doucette GDC 2012 Interview
2012/Dec/18 Help Xona Games win a OUYA Dev Console
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2012/Apr/06 Xona Games Devs Beat Super-C in 0:16:28 at PAX EAST 2012
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2011/Jul/22 Xona Games Backs Indie Game: The Movie On Kickstarter
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2011/Jul/04 Xona Games: Featured in Official Xbox Magazine Online
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2011/Jun/20 Xona Games: Canada Business Feature
2011/Jun/20 "How I come to be Xona-Infected?"
2011/May/30 Xona Games: Featured in Chronicle Herald
2011/May/09 Xona Games: Interviewed by The Thoughtful Gamers
2011/Apr/11 Xona Games 1 of 3 Developers To Produce Three 4-Star XBLIG Games
2011/Mar/25 Xona Games is 4-Player Shmup King of XBLIG: Created 3 of Top 7
2011/Mar/21 Xona Games Running Lean: The Lean Startup Challenge
2011/Mar/14 Xona Games: Featured in Nova Scotia's "Your Studio Here" Promotions
2011/Mar/14 GDC 2011 Wrap Up
2011/Feb/22 Xona Games Featuered: Indie Games Counter Sequel-Driven Market
2011/Feb/02 Xona Games: Featured in Chronicle Herald, Again!
2011/Jan/27 Xona Games: Are You Smarter Than A CEO? Interview
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2011/Jan/10 Xona Games Featured in Develop Magazine, Again!
2011/Jan/04 Xona Games: CBC News Recap
2011/Jan/02 Xona Games 2 of Top 3 Picks in #1 Japanese Gaming Magazine, Famitsu
2010/Dec/17 Xona Games 10th & 11th Best Selling XBLIGs Worldwide
2010/Dec/12 Xona Games Dominates Japan in Top Ratings and Best Sellers
2010/Nov/03 Xona Games Congratulated by Nova Scotia House of Assembly
2010/Sep/23 Xona Games Inspires!
2010/Sep/10 Calculated Success
2010/Sep/06 Racketboy Podcast #15 - Indie Shmups
2010/Aug/30 Xona Games Featured Over 200 Times!
2010/Aug/25 Xona Games NSBI Photoshoot!
2010/Aug/09 Living the Dream!!!
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2010/Jun/16 Jalloo Festival to Showcase Duality ZF
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2010/Apr/30 Homebrew Heroes: Retro Gamer Feature
2010/Apr/19 Xona Games Featured in Open to the World Magazine
2010/Apr/15 Xona Games Inc.: We're Officially Incorporated!
2010/Mar/25 Matthew Doucette: Guest Speaker at Innovation Social
2010/Mar/16 GDC 2010 Wrap Up
2010/Feb/25 Xona Games Speaks at Business Over Breakfast
2010/Feb/20 Xona Games Wins $100,000 - I-3 Technology Start-Up Competition (Video)
2010/Feb/02 50,000 YouTube Views
2010/Jan/26 Xona Games Featured in Local Newspaper
2010/Jan/26 Xona Games Wins $100,000 - I-3 Technology Start-Up Competition
2009/Dec/17 Acadia University Coverage: A Passion For Programming
2009/Dec/08 Xona Games Top 3 in $200,000 Technology Competition
2009/Nov/09 Xona Games Featured in Develop Magazine
2009/Oct/22 Xona Games I-3 Technology Start-Up Competition Finalist
2009/Sep/24 Xona Games Featured on CBC TV News
2009/Sep/23 Xona Games on CBC News Website
2009/Sep/23 CBC Radio One Interviews Xona Games
2009/Aug/18 Xona Games Company Profile for NSBI
2009/Jun/15 Console Arcade Interviews Xona Games
2008/Aug/28 Introducing Xona Games

 

About the Author: I am Matthew Doucette of Xona Games, an award-winning indie game studio that I founded with my twin brother. We make intensified arcade-style retro games. Our business, our games, our technology, and we as competitive gamers have won prestigious awards and received worldwide press. Our business has won $180,000 in contests. Our games have ranked from #1 in Canada to #1 in Japan, have become #1 best sellers in multiple countries, have won game contests, and have held 3 of the top 5 rated spots in Japan of all Xbox LIVE indie games. Our game engines have been awarded for technical excellence. And we, the developers, have placed #1 in competitive gaming competitions -- relating to the games we make. Read about our story, our awards, our games, and view our blog.



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Xona Games, Xona.com, Xonatech, Saw Tooth Distortion, Evolutionary Prototype (EP), Duality ZF, Decimation X, Decimation X2,
Decimation X3, Decimation X3.5, Decimation X4, Score Rush, Score Rush 2, Score Rush (HTML5), Score Rush MP, and Score Rush Extended (Score Rush EX)
trademarked and copyrighted by Xona Games Inc., Matthew Doucette, and/or Jason Doucette.
© 2000..2005 Saw Tooth Distortion. © Xona.com. © 2008..2010 Xona Games (under Xona.com).
© Xona Games Inc.

We make Intense Retro video games.