Predict your next investment

Angel Investor (Individual)

See what CB Insights has to offer

Investments

3

Portfolio Exits

1

About Jason Kapalka

Jason Kapalka Headquarter Location

Predict your next investment

The CB Insights tech market intelligence platform analyzes millions of data points on venture capital, startups, patents , partnerships and news mentions to help you see tomorrow's opportunities, today.

Latest Jason Kapalka News

PopCap co-founder Jason Kapalka on bringing web hit Shell Shockers to mobile

Sep 8, 2021

September 8th, 2021 - 01:00pm When EA acquired PopCap in 2011, it wasn't a surprise Jason Kapalka left the company he had co-founded three years later. After all, Kapalka was PopCap's chief game designer, working on such acclaimed titles such as Bejeweled, Plants vs Zombies and Peggle. "Being at PopCap was like being in an arena rock band," he recalls. "It was a large enterprise, 600 people globally. There was the pressure of 'Is this going to be our next billion dollar franchise?' I always said 'Maybe'." He didn't know what designing a billion dollar games was like ahead of time even though he'd been involved in several. But leaving PopCap didn't mean Kapalka stopped designing games. He just ended up designing different games. Continuing the arena rock analogy, he explains "I quit the band to play crappy experimental jazz in small suburban towns". Of course, the point isn't that the experimental jazz was crappy (maybe it was great crappy experimental jazz), but that what he wanted to do was different. And - interspersed with other business ventures - this is what Kapalka has been doing ever since 2015 with his new studio Blue Wizard Digital. Cracking games Focused mainly on web games, Blue Wizard has released some odd titles, especially in what can only be described as the 'oddly humorous horror genre'. Notably, despite their names, Slayaway Camp and its licensed sequel Friday the 13th: Killer Puzzle are sliding puzzle games. But it's been egg-themed first-person shooter Shell Shockers that's shaping to be the closest thing Kapalka has come up with in terms of his next 'next billion dollar franchise'. "It's eggs with machine guns. It's fun," Kapalka simply says. He recalls an early version of Plant vs Zombies that used realistic weapons. There's a high death rate in the game, which is convenient in terms of being able to show a lot of ads in a non-instrusic manner. Jason Kapalka "The feel of that was wrong," he says. "Shell Shockers is a web game so it's got a young audience, but it's eggs not people. We can use realistic guns and the violence doesn't seem so bad." And it's certainly gaining traction. Through CrazyGames, which just one of its distribution channels, it has over three million players and has racked up over 35 million game plays." From web to mobile Another interesting game design aspect is because all the players are represented by eggs, it makes sense that characters are fragile, with low health points. As ever, the big issue with web games and their young credit-card-less audience is the only way to monetise is to drive scale and get as many ads in front of those eyeballs as possible. But this is hard to do without breaking the game experience and a game that can only show an ad every ten minutes just isn't going to work commercially. That problem is solved in Shell Shockers. "There's a high death rate in the game, which is convenient in terms of being able to show a lot of ads in a non-instrusic manner," Kapalka points out. Which brings us to the mobile version of Shell Shockers which is out now on iOS and available for pre-register on Google Play Store. "It will be interesting to see how much of our web audience we can bring across to mobile," Kapalka says. Of course, the game is synced across mobile and web so people can play from any device. But crucially the mobile version enables Blue Wizard to add IAPs, even if they are purely for aesthetic items such as special guns and masks plus a soft currency to buy hats, skins and decals. "You need to design around the monetisation model and on mobile we can tilt it with fewer ads and more IAPs," he says. Maybe the next billion seller isn't on the card yet, but there is a path to the next few millions. You can play Shell Shockers and get the mobile versions via its website. Pocket Gamer Connects Digital #8 mid-term discounts end at midnight on Thursday, Sept 9. Last chance to save up to $190 on September's top B2B games industry conference... BOOK NOW! . Tags:

Jason Kapalka Investments

3 Investments

Jason Kapalka has made 3 investments. Their latest investment was in Biba Ventures as part of their Seed on September 9, 2017.

CBI Logo

Jason Kapalka Investments Activity

investments chart

Date

Round

Company

Amount

New?

Co-Investors

Sources

9/19/2017

Seed

Biba Ventures

$1.1M

Yes

5

2/27/2015

Series A

Subscribe to see more

$99M

Subscribe to see more

10

8/19/2014

Seed VC

Subscribe to see more

$99M

Subscribe to see more

10

Date

9/19/2017

2/27/2015

8/19/2014

Round

Seed

Series A

Seed VC

Company

Biba Ventures

Subscribe to see more

Subscribe to see more

Amount

$1.1M

$99M

$99M

New?

Yes

Subscribe to see more

Subscribe to see more

Co-Investors

Sources

5

10

10

Jason Kapalka Portfolio Exits

1 Portfolio Exit

Jason Kapalka has 1 portfolio exit. Their latest portfolio exit was PlayFab on January 29, 2018.

Date

Exit

Companies

Valuation
Valuations are submitted by companies, mined from state filings or news, provided by VentureSource, or based on a comparables valuation model.

Acquirer

Sources

1/29/2018

Acquired

3

Date

1/29/2018

Exit

Acquired

Companies

Valuation

Acquirer

Sources

3

CB Insights uses Cookies

CBI websites generally use certain cookies to enable better interactions with our sites and services. Use of these cookies, which may be stored on your device, permits us to improve and customize your experience. You can read more about your cookie choices at our privacy policy here. By continuing to use this site you are consenting to these choices.