Where some might see an athlete starting a video game company as a bad idea in the wake of former pitcher Curt Schilling‘s doomed 38 Studios, Baron Davis has never been shy to take what some might call a low-percentage shot. The former Knick guard who blew out his knee this spring and former 15-year Electronic Arts staffer Sean O’Brien have started 5 Balloons Interactive to break into mobile gaming, which they believe isn’t a longshot at all. Their first offering is already available: “Getting Buckets” featuring Davis himself. Steve Nash, Brandon Jennings, Rajon Rondo and Candace Parker play characters who you have to buy in the game, according to Game FAQs. No, there isn’t an option to dunk on Andrei Kirilenko‘s face unlike real-life Davis — but villains do include Hack and Swat, whose evil powers should probably be self-evident.
Davis gave an interview about the game with ESPN’s Playbook, but it didn’t shed much light other than Davis writes checks, brings his concerns and edits to O’Brien, whose team implements them (The game was developed by Renown Entertainment). That process has created a game where you run through streets trying to score as many buckets as possible in each level. Here’s how Davis described the creative process from the interview.
Sean and I work very well together. I can easily say, “Yo, the game needs this, this, this, and this,” and he brings it to life. We both share in the same vision and feel that there was a void in the system, so we are in constant communication. That’s the best thing about being on a team, the communication and everybody just playing their roles. I know I’m not a video game programmer and I can’t make the games, but I know what people want because I play games all the time.
Obviously, I hope there’s a little more detail to the internal review process than that, but then again it fits Davis’ free-wheeling style as a point. The four other players featured in the game were chosen in part because of their social media appeal, the pair said, and you can bet all five will be leveraging their social media fanbases to get the word out. Davis, again, to ESPN:
Sean talked about definitely wanting a female athlete to represent the brand, and it was really personality driven. We wanted to capture guys who had style and personality on the court, so that was how we initiated our search. We wanted guys who are socially active and have that personality that we want to bring to life in this game. I think what’s cool about this is, a lot of companies will run to the “superstar” players to get it done, but that’s not the way we did it. We went with guys who are more into their social distribution pipeline and, more importantly, players with personality.
Player can use their Mad Skills, Power Ups and “ricochet ball passing physics,” (possibly the best way to describe Nash’s passing, ever) according to one press release, to beat the villains. The game, released July 26, is available in the iTunes store for 99 cents.
Photo via Gamespot.
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