At Demo 2012, one of the more interesting products launching was Jumala, a flash based platform that allows people to both play unique games and create them and share the result with others. The platform spans beginning game designers to more advanced developers and could actually become an interesting training tool for those who want to explore this career path, create games as learning tools, or create games with their kids or friends.
The concept underpinnings are interesting both because of how they scale and a revenue model that appears to embrace the current concepts surrounding an in-game content revenue model. Jumala comes from a small company called Blades Game world and they are located in Redmond Washington. Yes, that would be Microsoft’s neighborhood.
The difficulty in any area of creation is that the folks that have the best ideas and the folks who have the skills to turn these into reality not only are often different people they may not even know each other or how to meet. A tool like Jumala can take people with dreams and turn them into creators, but it can also serve as a dating service between people who are strong with ideas and people who are strong with skills. It is that kind of a match-up that created most successful companies. Apple, Microsoft, and Google were created almost by accident, because the right mix of people and ideas came together to create a company.
So, the big idea that surrounds Jumala isn’t how they pitch it as a flexible game design platform, but in its potential to bring together people who could eventually learn to create something else. It could evolve into a game company incubator.
Game Company Incubator
One of the amazing things we are seeing born through social media is the dynamic formation of groups around projects. Initially, it is political activity that is getting most of the coverage like the Occupy movement or how the current US President used social media to get elected. But this is evolving into methods for the formation of virtual companies and incubators for the next Google, Facebook, Microsoft or a company type we haven’t seen before.
One of the company types is clearly gaming and I think the incubators as they evolve will evolve around specialties. Jumala represents a potential, as yet unrealized, for a gaming company incubator, which not only collects the skills to create games but eventually loops in the skills to create companies
Jumala is clearly not where I envision this is going next, but it represents a foundation that could result in such a company. In the end I saw Jumala not for what it was, but what it could become. It could become the incubator for the next successful gaming company.
About the author: Rob Enderle is Principal Analyst of the Enderle Group, 389 Photinia Lane, San Jose, CA 95127 (Phone: 408-272-8560; E-mail: email@example.com) Rob is an avid MMO gamer and has been covering or playing them since the mid-80s. During his down time he is also the Principal Analyst of the Enderle Group which covers emerging technology and related trends. He spends much of his time providing clients with roadmaps to the future, doing SWAT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) analysis on strategies, and evaluating hardware and software. In short, he gets paid to have a great deal of fun. Rob writes for a variety of publications and appears regularly on FOX Business News, CNBC, NPR, and Bloomberg. He also has a semi-weekly spot on WSJ radio. Prior to forming the Enderle Group he was the Senior Research Fellow at Forrester, VP at Giga Information Group, and Senior Analyst at Dataquest. Prior to becoming an analyst he worked at IBM, Siemens, and ROLM. He holds an AA, BS, and MBA with emphasis on Merchandising, Marketing, Manpower Management, Computer Science, and Business.