Q & A With Mobile Gaming Investor Matt Tubergen, the New Face of Recharge Studios


Recharge StudiosThis past November, Sartell-based W3i simultaneously launched a mobile gaming studio while setting aside $1m to invest specifically in iOS mobile gaming startups.

Since the original announcement, we’ve since learned that Veiled Games (the team behind Daybreak Heroes) is the first beneficiary of the niche fund, as well as mobile veteran Matt Tubergen’s new lead as product manager.

Following is an interview with Matt about all things Recharge Studios.

Jeff Pesek (JP): Greetings Matt, congratulations on your new position, and thank you for the time.

Matt Tubergen (MT): Thank you Jeff, nice to chat.

JP: Let’s jump to it…what is your background and experience in the mobile space?

MT: I have been in the mobile content business for just shy of 10 years. I started my mobile career with a startup called MIDIRingTones which was one of the first ringtones companies in the US. We were acquired by American Greetings and launched their mobile content efforts. I eventually moved on to join THQ Wireless to help build up their Minneapolis mobile gaming division.

After my time at THQ I spent some dabbled in the agency/consulting arena.  Throughout my career I have held a wide range of positions from product development to business development and had the pleasure to work with a wide range of branded properties such as Disney, NFL and Lucas Arts.

JP: I see.  And so what aspect of Recharge Studios appealed to you ?

MT: Recharge allows me to utilize both my product management experience along with my business development background. I have had the pleasure to build many strong relationships within the mobile gaming industry which I plan to utilize at Recharge Studios. I also look to apply my knowledge of the mobile gaming market to  drive the strategy behind the types of games with invest in.

JP: Are you a product manager or an investor?

Technically, I am a product manager, but in this case — both really. The studio is my product and the objective is to identify unique and promising opportunities in which we can fund, market and monetize in the iOS gaming market.   It’s definitely a unique position to be in.

JP: Fun! I’m going to go rapid fire on you here — OK?

MT: Shoot!

JP: What is important to you when considering which gaming opportunities to invest in? What specifics or criteria will you be looking for? Who is an ideal fit? What type of terms/arrangement can be expected? How relevant is geography and will there be a Minnesota focus?

MT: Recharge is seeking to make investments ($20k-$150k) in experienced development and design studios that understand freemium based social games. Specifically, we are looking for teams with creative ideas that have mastered compulsion loop mechanics which can be applied to iOS games. We are convinced that if we couple W3i’s experience in monetization and distribution with solid freemium gaming ideas we will deliver top performing products in the App Store. In return for our investment we are looking for a share of the game’s profits.

There truly is no “ideal”  partner for Recharge. The gaming industry is ripe with talented teams ranging from two man shops to fully staffed global production studios. Minnesota certainly has its own pool of experienced game production talent and we are pursuing those opportunities locally.

However, we are not limiting ourselves to just the Minnesota market and have already partnered with studios worldwide.

JP: W3i is pursuing an interesting blend of strategic yet somewhat overlapping initiatives (Apperang, Ad funded payment platform, FlipToast) as of late.  Where does Recharge fit in and what’s the grand strategy?

MT:W3i Mobile is building a suite of products and services to drive mobile content consumption, monetization and distribution. This strategy echoes that of our core business. Recharge is responsible for securing compelling content and establishing a user base of active users. W3i’s Ad-Funded Payment Platform will drive monetization for our publishing partners and our efforts such as Apperang drive distribution.

JP: That’s it?

MT: That’s all you get right now…

JP: Recharge recently made an initial investment into Veiled Games…what about their latest endeavor, Daybreak Heroes, excites you?

MT: We are very happy to partner with Veiled Games on Daybreak Heroes. Their concept is truly original and the twisted cheeky humor will surely capture the attention of teenage males. Furthermore, we are excited to work with the team at Veiled as they have impressed us in their ability to innovate and create a unique and entertaining experience.
JP: Anything else you would like to mention?

MT: If anyone is interested in speaking about opportunities with Recharge Studios they can contact matthew.tubergen at W3i dot com.

JP: Thanks for the time and insights Matt…let the inundation begin!

MT: Thanks Jeff!