Xona Games: Featured in The Chronicle Herald

Wednesday, June 1, 2016
By: Matthew Doucette

We've been featured in The Chronicle Herald again!

Xona Games featured in The Chronicle Herald!

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Xona Games, the Yarmouth-based independent game studio, has released its latest title on Sony’s Playstation 4, marking its first move on to the top tier of console games.

The studio founded seven years ago by twin brothers Matthew and Jason Doucette has released Score Rush Extended, an enhanced version of the studio’s Score Rush game. It was released in North America on Tuesday and is being released in Europe June 2. The studio is working on a release for Japan.

“This is the biggest thing we’ve done,” said Matthew Doucette in an interview. “It’s an achievement just to get on these platforms. We’re finally going to take our product, something that we created ourselves, and we’re going to put it out in the marketplace and we’re going to see it if it works or not. If it works, we’re not going to have to reinvent ourselves.”

For the past few years, Matthew has been the lone full-time employee at the studio as Jason has been working in Seattle, first at Amazon and now at Oracle. Matthew Doucette said the demand for developers means there’s always a strong draw to go to the U.S., but he wanted to develop the studio in Yarmouth.

Xona over the years has had its ups and downs, and the ups have included games that have claimed top spot in league tables in both the United States and Japan.

The company’s Decimation X series was the leading video game in its category in Japan, and two years ago Xona captured first place in the Rogers Big Idea Contest, which brought with it an award of $20,000.

Doucette said the reason the company has done so well in the Japanese market is that players there want games that require skill rather than mere chance — games that must be mastered.

In the past, Xona has had a game on the “Indie” section of the Xbox platform, but that section suffered from low traffic as most players want to play the best games available. By getting on to the Playstation 4 system, Xona is now in with the top games in the world. And given that Playstation has a rigorous vetting process, just being on the platform is a testament to the quality of the product, he said.

“We had a vision of what 2D games could become: More sprites, more particles, and more intensity,” said Matthew Doucette in a blog last week on the Playstation website. “Score Rush Extended was born from that idea.”

Xona first launched Score Rush was an experimental game. Doucette said the game captured critical and commercial success but it never felt complete. So he developed Score Rush Extended, which offers online scoreboards, unlockable trophies, and even DualShock audio that helps players to distinguish events happening to them as opposed to their friends during a four-player game.

The Doucette brothers have always shown a determination to remain true to their vision of what a game should be. With Score Rush Extended, for example, they set out to release a Shoot ‘Em Up game that tests the player’s skill like no other.

Doucette said the key piece in doing this was to rework the scoring mechanism, so it would not award bonus points. The only way to get points is by dominating your opponent.


Thanks to Peter Moreira for publishing our story in The Chronicle Herald and in Entrevestor.

That is all!



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 $190,000 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.