About Us

Xona Games is an award-winning Xbox and PlayStation indie game studio, co-founded by Matthew Doucette and Jason Doucette. We make arcade-style intense retro games and best known for our $180,000 contest wins and our #1 shmup hits in Japan.

Xona Games headquarters is located in Ignite Labs, an incubator co-founded by Matthew (previously The Hub Yarmouth, a co-working space also co-founded by Matthew).


Jason Doucette (left) and Matthew Doucette (right) of Xona Games.
 ©2010 John Sherlock.

Early History:

Matthew and Jason have been coding games since they were seven years old, before they owned a computer. Their first personal computer was a TI-99/4A and second a Tandy 1000 SX. Starting in early elementary school, they developed a "game code", a formulated and sometimes philosophical list of do's and don't's by which all of their games abide.

Xona Games is the realization of a lifelong passion.


Matthew (left) and Jason (center) in Xona Games studios.
©2010 John Sherlock.

Awards:

We have won prestigious awards (Innovacorp's $100,000 prize, Tizen's $50,000 prize, Roger's $20,000 prize) and received worldwide press (Develop, Retro Gamer, Famitsu, Reviews On The Run, Official Xbox Magazine). We have won over $180,000 in contests.

Our games have been rated from #1 in Canada (Duality ZF in Dream Build Play 2010) to #1 in Japan (Decimation X and Decimation X3 on XBLIG), and been top picks across many categories (IGN, Famitsu, Gamasutra, Joystiq).

Every game we developed, released or not, has won awards.


Jason (left) and Matthew (right) in Xona Games studios.
©2010 John Sherlock.

Top Rated Best Sellers:

Our games have also become #1 best sellers in multiple countries (Decimation X, Decimation X3, and Score Rush). We have dominated the Japanese market with three of the top five games and two best sellers, simultaneously. We have dominated XBLIG with 3 of the top 7 four-player shoot 'em ups and out of thousands of developers we are 1 of 3 studios to produce 3 or more 4+ star rated titles.


Jason (left) and Matthew (right) in Xona Games studios.
©2010 John Sherlock.

Miscellanous Accomplishments:

Our game engine technology was recognized for technical excellence (IndiePub semi-finalist). Microsoft invited our studio to develop a launch title for their Windows Phone 7 launch (Decimation X2). We have strong indie ties and were chosen to represent the Indie Games Winter Uprising. Our only mobile title won a highly commended award in WP7COMP, a Microsoft-supported Windows Phone 7 Competition, and was the only game that placed (the rest were "apps"). Turbulenz, a new online gaming platform, funded us to develop a launch title (Score Rush port) and even turned one of our games into a cake!


Regular Xona Games logo, as featured in our games and trailers.

Our Style:

Our games feature beautiful Imphenzia and hard-rocking Dragon Music Productions soundtracks, and are 4-player shoot 'em ups. Expect to see more genres exploited for their true potential in the future, including racing and beat 'em ups. We have only just begun!


Score Rush Extended 撃点 (PS4) title sreen.

Government Support:

We have been supported by many levels of the Canadian government, allowing us to attend many international and local game conferences.

Nova Scotia Business Inc. (NSBI) first supported our attendance to game conferences by sending us to Montreal International Game Summit (MIGS) with a "Business Lounge" VIP pass! This is where we first met Valve, Nintendo, and Microsoft. Eventually Innovacorp and NSBI helped send us to our first GDC and Game Connection with a booth on the GDC Expo floor. We have gone to nearly every GDC and PAX East since.

NSBI also included us in the Nova Scotian "Your Studio Here" promotions and offered us a GDC Play booth. ACOA has funded our game development ventures, helping us land on PS4, and continue to support us targetting Xbox One and Steam. We have even been congratulated by Nova Scotia's House of Assembly.

The New Brunswick government has helped promote our games via Jalloo, a gaming festival hosted by NBCC Miramichi. The Newfoundland and Labrador Association of Technology Industries (NATI) has helped fund us with all access GDC passes. The Consulate of Canada Silicon Valley has funded us with GDC Expo passes.

NSCC is now a form of government support, as they help fund our GDC trips.


Score Rush Extended 撃点 (PS4) boss explosion.

Education:

We also help others make games, via Xbox forums, our Developer's Blog, our tutorials, Brilliant Labs' Makerspaces, Kids Make Games, and via NSCC Truro Campus.

Matthew Doucette was offered the Xbox MVP award for his educational efforts in Xbox development and is the core faculty member of the NSCC Game Development and Game Development - Game Programming program.


Score Rush Extended 撃点 (PS4) 4-player co-operative gameplay.

Platforms:

We have developed for many game platforms:

In the future we plan to develop for more game platforms:


Score Rush Extended 撃点 (PS4) 4-player Dual Play -- each player controls 2 fighters.

Current Day:

To see what we are currently working on, visit our developer's blog. Come meet us at conferences! Also check out our friends who have all done amazing things in the indie gaming industry!

Interviews:

A couple interviews captured on video:


Matthew interviewed by Game Code TV (blog entry).


Jason at GDC 2012 (blog entry).


Matthew on the "Are You Smarter Than A CEO?" contest (blog entry).


Matthew (left) and Jason (right) at GDC 2010 (blog entry).


Xona Games winning $100,000 (blog entry).


Xona Games on CBC TV News (blog entry).

As Gamers:

We are also avid gamers. We have both beat the R-Type, Raiden, and Raiden II arcades. My old notes show that we both beat 1943: The Battle of Midway arcade together. We can complete NES versions of Contra and Super-C with one life, twice over. We are huge shoot'em up fans, as you may know. Jason has beat 18+ Xbox LIVE games and can beat the OutRun arcade. Matthew has beat 70 NES games, 100+ Xbox LIVE games, and many other games, as well as competed and placed first and second in PAX East's Geometry Wars 2 contest (in 2013 and 2012).

Xbox LIVE Video Records:


Matthew playing Pacifism in Geometry Wars 2, scoring 600 million / 705 worldwide rank.

Unrecorded, in Pacifism, Matthew obtained a peak rank of #553 worldwide out of about 300,000 players and separately a peak score of 890 million points.


Matthew (left; blue) and Jason (right; red) beating Super-C in 17 minutes at PAX East 2012 (blog entry).


Jason getting the Cardiogram achievement (Score an overall AAA in Heart Attack Mode) in OutRun Online Arcade.

Brief History:

Before Xona Games, we founded Xonatech, a technology blog that morphed into our Developer's Blog, and developed Windows freeware and web apps.

That is all.