By Evan DeSimone
YouTube star Jordan Maron (8.7 millon subscribers), better known by his gaming handle Captain Sparklez, has launched the mobile gaming company XReal LLC, in partnership withHoward Marks, co-founder of Activision and Acclaim Games.
XReal will focus on producing mobile-first gaming products for distribution across android, iOS and other mobile platforms. The company’s first game “Fortress Fury” was released on May 14, and it has already accumulated more than 2 million downloads.
Xreal’s first release “Fortress Fury” scored more than 2 million downloads in its first months
To jump start his mobile gaming venture, Maron turned to crowd funding, leveraging his sizable YouTube following for support. However, unlike many crowd funding campaigns which seek contributions in exchange for a reward or a copy of the finished product, XReal was launched through StartEngine, a crowd funding platform that offers contributors an equity stake in the company in exchange for their cash.
Maron isn’t the only YouTube gaming star entering the rapidly growing mobile gamign space with the help of crowd funding. Comedy duo Smosh turned to fans and an Indiegogo campaign to jumpstart their mobile game “Food Battle.” While Felix “Pewdiepie” Kjellberg didn’t crowd fund his mobile game “The Legend of Brofist,” he did leverage his fans engagement to help guide the development process through interactive sessions with the developer team.