Whitethorn Digital is a Title III - Regulation Crowdfunding Campaign and is actively accepting investments.
$160.00 minimum investment

Whitethorn Digital

Indie Friendly Video Game Publisher

Small OPO
Erie, PA
Gaming
Accepting International Investment
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Great games bring people together.

Invest in Whitethorn Digital

Whitethorn Digital is a video game publisher with a brand focus on games that bring people together. We're uninterested in games that mediate their interactions with the world down the barrel of a gun, and instead publish experiences that put people on the couch in competition, collaboration, or discussion. 


We're bringing the couch back, one great game at a time. Whether you're beating your friend, working together to overcome challenges, or enjoying a single-player experience that provokes discussion, we believe games are a medium through which friends and family can come together. 


We're an indie-friendly publisher, with a revenue share goal of no more than 25%. We leverage low overhead costs, deep industry knowledge, and a small number of highly curated releases per year to make sure every game developer we sign can have a great quality of life and make a fair return on their work.  


We're backlogged through 2019 and into 2020, and are drowning in opportunity, so we're attempting to raise a seed round to help us grow. In the spirit of togetherness, and the crowdfunding that is common in the indie games space, we thought a Small OPO through StartEngine would make a wonderful addition to our overall raise.  


Join our seed round today and get access to common units of Whitethorn Digital LLC, as well as access to our games, social events, and more. 


Please take some time to check out our games, visit our links, read our story, and get to know us. Please feel free to contact me personally with any and all questions you may have.   


- Dr. Matthew White, Founder and Managing Director

Screenshots from Tinselfly and Where the Bees Make Honey above are computer generated and represent products in development. Final products may vary.    

The Offering

Investment
$3.20/share│When you invest you are betting the company’s future value will exceed $3.3M.


Perks*

$320+ First five games for free - The first five titles released by Whitethorn will be made available to you as PC keys.  Keys are non-transferable, have no cash value, and may not be sold.  

$3,200+ Backer wall brick - as part of its office renovations, Whitethorn is building a decorative backer wall.  At this tier, you may engrave any message, company or personal name, or similar onto a single piece of that wall, pending our approval of the message.  This wall will be a permanent fixture of our office in Erie, PA.  

$6,400+ Subscription for life - All games published by Whitethorn will be made available to you as PC keys in perpetuity.  Keys are non-transferable, have no cash value, and may not be sold.

$12,800+ Be our guest - From time to time, and particularly at industry and local events, Whitethorn may host, for example, parties, networking events, or mixers.  As part of our team of investors, you will receive complimentary preferred admission to each of these events before tickets are made available to the general public.  Travel not included.  Tickets are non-transferable and must be redeemed in your name.  Reasonable accommodations will be made for guests, partners, +1's, etc.

$25,600+ Come visit - Whitethorn will, at a time of mutual convenience, fly you to Erie, PA - economy class on a reasonable route - and provide you reasonably priced accommodations.  During the visit, Whitethorn will cover your expenses and give you a personal tour of the office, the city, and the local tech and entrepreneur scene.  Subject to expense approval and discussion.

*All perk tiers include all subordinate perk tiers.  Perks are non-transferable and have no cash value unless otherwise specified.  All perks occur after the offering is completed.

For details on the bonus, please see the Offering Summary below.

"Whitethorn Digital publishes off-beat games that bring people together."

- Dr. Matthew M. White 

Managing Director

Traction

We're rebuilding the rust belt one office at a time - specifically, our own. After spending the summer renovating, we are in a gorgeous space in the historic Renaissance Centre in downtown Erie, Pennsylvania. 


Whitethorn Digital operates on a yearly cohort. We publish five games per year that are heavily vetted, and have no more than five games in publishing at any one time. This attention to detail and managed release schedule allows us to give 100% of our attention to every project.  


By leveraging our industry experience, competitive pricing, brand identity, conference presence, and the quality of life offered in Erie - it's our pleasure to announce that we are backlogged with leads into 2020.  


We release games on all major current generation consoles, and have established relationships with dozens of industry leading companies that allow us to help our clients succeed. 

Whitethorn HQ Under Construction, June 2018

Screen capture from interview courtesy of GameSpot.

Our first five clients in our 2018 Cohort include:


Where the Bees Make Honey - Wakefield Interactive

BOMBFEST - Sudden Event Studios

StarCrossed - Contigo Games

Tinselfly - Flopsy Koala

IO Interloper - Dang Computer


Our games have already shown to wonderful reception at E3, PAX, ReplayFX, ID@XBOX, PixelPop, and more, and are continuing to travel the country and build their audience.  


We'll be bringing these and more to all major consoles starting in Q1 2019. Read on to learn more, or follow us on Twitter to see where you can come play one of our games!

Our Clients

Where the Bees Make Honey
Images are computer generated and represent a product in development. Final product may vary.  
XBOX One, PS4, PC - Q2 2019


We've had spectacular traction to date.  While our physical office only opened as recently as September 2018, we were so inundated with high quality client leads during our work-from-home period that we had to take out a business line of credit and rapidly establish a working space!


Our games have already shown at the world's premiere games conferences and dozens of smaller independent news outlets.  


Indie publishers are the future of the independent games market, and we intend to disrupt this space by leveraging our industry experience, offering better value for price, and maintaining a small, highly-curated catalog of games that fit our brand. 


We heavily vet our games by relying on decades of industry experience. Independent games suffer from lack of visibility, and often get lost in the backlog. We believe more than 10,000 games will be released this year in one form or another.  


As a result, we believe clients seek industry knowledge and experience to help them remain competitive. This has been the source of our positive response to date.  By hand selecting games that offer a unique perspective, and meet industry quality standards, we can remain competitive.

BOMBFEST
Images are computer generated and represent a product in development. Final product may vary.  
Nintendo Switch, XBOX One, PS4, PC - Q1 2019

IO Interloper
Images are computer generated and represent a product in development. Final product may vary.  
PC, Q1 2020

Tinselfly
Images are computer generated and represent a product in development. Final product may vary.  
Nintendo Switch, XBOX One, PS4, PC - Q1 2020

StarCrossed
Images are computer generated and represent a product in development. Final product may vary.  
Nintendo Switch, XBOX One, PS4, PC - Q1 2019

Whitethorn uses an insufferable pun of a method we call THORNS to evaluate publication candidates:

  • Togetherness - Does the game bring people together, either in competition, collaboration, or discussion?
  • Hundred-Thousand - Do the founders and the advisory board reasonably believe this game could sell 100,000 units?
  • Opportunity - Is this the right time for this game? Is there a market for this kind of game within current games industry trends?
  • Risk - Is this the creators' first game? Can the team reasonably complete the project within the timeline? How expensive is this game to produce? Does anyone else have a revenue share claim?
  • Novelty - Is the game offering something new and needed to the market, or is it simply rebranding, rehashing, or relabeling another successful title?
  • Special Sauce - This is a wildcard, 'gut feeling', best-guess judgement by the founders that this game has something special.  Whether it's a unique mechanic, a socially important message, or something else entirely.

We turn away over 80% of the submissions we receive. By being extremely selective, we are able to ensure that we de-risk our time and monetary investments in our clients.  


We do, however, offer a local, free coworking area in our office where clients who don't quite make the grade can come and receive free mentorship in hopes of grooming them to be a publishable candidate at a later date.  


By rigorously vetting our clients, we seek to establish ourselves as the go-to brand for games that bring people together, are largely family-friendly, and can be shared with your friends.  It's our belief that social gaming need not involve the internet.  

Our Competitors, Our Advantage

Our competitors are of varying sizes.  Some are very small startups, while others are massive companies.  We operate in what is colloquially known as the "double-A" space.  Games that are not quite basement projects, but also aren't big-budget direct-to-console blockbusters. 


Our competitors include companies like Devolver DigitalGood Shepherd EntertainmentArmor GamesBlack Shell Mediaand Raw Fury.  

Game publishers act a bit like record labels for games. Our primary tasks are to...


  • Scout and recruit talent with an eye to revenue and monetization. 
  • Produce and promote that talent to guarantee product completion. 
  • Release, analyze, and monetize the product, then reinvest the talent.

Whitethorn uses its considerable industry contact network and experience to accomplish these tasks, and competes by remaining focused on a small number of releases.  We further monetize each client by re-signing the clients on larger and larger projects through their growth.  

Indie Friendly

Whitethorn offers free workspace, free coffee, access to expensive hardware and software, social events, community, streaming, networking, and new friendships to indies.

Low Revenue Share

Whitethorn takes no more than 25%, often significantly less.  We want indies to grow and thrive, and will never offer a deal at a higher revenue share, period.

Individual Attention

Our competitors often publish dozens of games, diluting the attention they can give. Whitethorn caps at five per calendar year.  We take our time to make sure our clients excel.

Industry Experience

Decades of industry experience, a massive professional network, a world-class advisory board, and dozens of shipped titles makes our team uniquely suited to help our clients find success.

The Games Industry

Image Source: Newzoo

The games industry is a juggernaut.  During the financial crisis of 2008, the games industry saw continued growth where others stagnated.  An estimated USD 66bn will be spent on games on console and PC this year.  


That growth is projected to continue, with the industry expected to eclipse USD 140bn by 2020The larger challenge for us is being able to match the growth pace that the market demands.  


Whitethorn operates in the console and PC market, and generally does not publish mobile games.  Put simply, the business of making and marketing mobile games is fundamentally different from console and PC games.  

Our largest competitors are publicly traded entities like Activision-Blizzard and Electronic Arts.  While they are currently "out of our league", we hope to one day be competitive.  


The industry is also extremely fast-moving.  Console cycles are five to seven years long, and game trends come and go year over year.  What was popular last year ("MOBA" games) is all but forgotten this year in favor of a new trend ("Battle Royale" games).  We are raising funds to stay competitive in our market.  


Our most immediate demand is hiring.  After funding, our immediate hires will be at least one extra engineer and a community manager.  

Image Source: IbisWorld Industry Insider

The Team

Our team benefits from a massive backlog of industry experience. Aside from the experience of our founders, we're supplemented by an amazing contracting team, as well as a wonderful advisory team.  


Between the individuals committed to the project, there is more than a century of startup, business, and games industry experience.  


Our advisory board includes members of: 

Radius Cowork

JFS Wealth Advisors

Sources and Methods Games

MegaCat Studios

Wushu Studios

Kickstarter


We're committed to helping undiscovered projects flourish in our industry, and we connect with others who have decades of experience in this and related industries to do so.  If you're interested in our full (NDA protected) partner and contractor lists, please contact us.

Invest in Whitethorn Digital Today!

Thanks for taking the time to learn a little more about Whitethorn Digital. We're committed to finding, cultivating, and publishing only the best game talent the indie space has to offer. We need your help to keep up with our growth and successfully manage this opportunity. 


We hope you'll consider joining us today and together we can help shape the future of a friendlier, more straightforward publishing experience for independent game developers.  

In the Press

Where the Bees Make Honey is an Absolutely Gorgeous Puzzle Game
June 22, 2018

Our client was interviewed on the show floor at E3 this year, Gamespot gave it high praise for its visuals.

Interview with Dr. Matthew White
August 16, 2018

An interview with Dr. Matthew White, founder of Whitethorn Digital.

Whitethorn Digital at ID@XBOX Pre-PAX Event
August 10, 2018

Whitethorn games featuring at ID@XBOX pre-PAX private event at Microsoft.

Offering Summary

Maximum 33437 Common Units* ($106,998.40)

*Maximum subject to adjustment for bonus shares. See 10% Bonus below

Minimum 3125 Common Units ($10,000)


Company
Whitethorn Digital, LLC
 

Corporate Address
1001 State St., Suite 515, Erie, PA, 16501
 

Description of Business
Whitethorn Digital is an independent game publisher and developer.
 

Type of Security Offered
Common Units (the "Shares", or the "Securities")
 
Purchase Price of Security Offered
$3.20
 

Minimum Investment Amount (per investor) 
$160











Perks*

$320First five games for free - The first five titles released by Whitethorn will be made available to you as PC keys.  Keys are non-transferable, have no cash value, and may not be sold.  

$3,200Backer wall brick - as part of its office renovations, Whitethorn is building a decorative backer wall.  At this tier, you may engrave any message, company or personal name, or similar onto a single piece of that wall, pending our approval of the message.  This wall will be a permanent fixture of our office in Erie, PA.  

$6,400+ Subscription for life - All games published by Whitethorn will be made available to you as PC keys in perpetuity.  Keys are non-transferable, have no cash value, and may not be sold. 

$12,800Be our guest - From time to time, and particularly at industry and local events, Whitethorn may host, for example, parties, networking events, or mixers.  As part of our team of investors, you will receive complimentary preferred admission to each of these events before tickets are made available to the general public.  Travel not included.  Tickets are non-transferable and must be redeemed in your name.  Reasonable accommodations will be made for guests, partners, +1's, etc. 

$25,600Come visit - Whitethorn will, at a time of mutual convenience, fly you to Erie, PA - economy class on a reasonable route - and provide you reasonably priced accommodations.  During the visit, Whitethorn will cover your expenses and give you a personal tour of the office, the city, and the local tech and entrepreneur scene.  Subject to expense approval and discussion. 

All perk tiers include all subordinate perk tiers.  Perks are non-transferable and have no cash value unless otherwise specified.  

*All perks occur after the offering is completed.


The 10% Bonus for StartEngine Shareholders

Whitehorn Digital will offer 10% additional bonus shares for all investments that are committed by StartEngine Crowdfunding Inc. shareholders (with ≥ $1,000 invested in the StartEngine Reg A+ campaign) within 24 hours of this offering going live.

StartEngine shareholders who have invested $1,000+ in the StartEngine Reg A+ campaign will receive a 10% bonus on this offering within a 24-hour window of their campaign launch date.  This means you will receive a bonus for any shares you purchase.  For example, if you buy 10 units at $3.20 / unit, you will receive 1 bonus unit, meaning you'll own 11 units for $32.   Fractional shares will not be distributed and share bonuses will be determined by rounding down to the nearest whole share.

This 10% Bonus is only valid for one year from the time StartEngine Crowdfunding Inc. investors receive their countersigned StartEngine Crowdfunding Inc. subscription agreement.

Irregular Use of Proceeds

The Company might incur Irregular Use of Proceeds that may include but are not limited to the following over $10,000: Vendor payments and salary made to one's self, a friend or relative; Any expense labeled "Administration Expenses" that is not strictly for administrative purposes; Any expense labeled "Travel and Entertainment"; Any expense that is for the purposes of inter-company debt or back payments. The company does not intend to use the proceeds of this raise to pay back the loan payable-owner indicated on the balance sheet.

Show More
Most recent fiscal year-end:
Prior fiscal year-end:
Total Assets
$7,632.00 USD
$2,177.47 USD
Cash And Cash Equivalents
$4,298.83 USD
$2,177.47 USD
Accounts Receivable
$0.00 USD
$0.00 USD
Short Term Debt
$5,123.09 USD
$0.00 USD
Long Term Debt
$0.00 USD
$0.00 USD
Revenues And Sales
$4,529.91 USD
$3,997.05 USD
Costs Of Goods Sold
$10,698.12 USD
$1,808.08 USD
Taxes Paid
$0.00 USD
$0.00 USD
Net Income
-$6,168.21 USD
$2,188.97 USD

Risks

A crowdfunding investment involves risk. You should not invest any funds in this offering unless you can afford to lose your entire investment. In making an investment decision, investors must rely on their own examination of the issuer and the terms of the offering, including the merits and risks involved. These securities have not been recommended or approved by any federal or state securities commission or regulatory authority. Furthermore, these authorities have not passed upon the accuracy or adequacy of this document. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission does not pass upon the merits of any securities offered or the terms of the offering, nor does it pass upon the accuracy or completeness of any offering document or literature. These securities are offered under an exemption from registration; however, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has not made an independent determination that these securities are exempt from registration.


Updates

Thanksgiving, Black Friday

17 days ago

Hey there supporters - 

It's Black Friday, and everyone is searching for a deal!  Right now, you can get two copies of Where the Bees Make Honey for the price of one by backing it on Kickstarter (https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1903514934/where-the-bees-make-honey

On top of that, you can get in on the ground floor with us, a plucky indie publisher looking to have a banner year in 2019.  We appreciate your support, and in the spirit of Thanksgiving, want to let you know how thankful we are for everyone who's supported us as we try to get this business up and running. 

If you could spend a moment to share our campaign with your friends, we'd appreciate it. 

Happy shopping today!

Matthew and the Whitethorn Team.

Dr. White interviewed by Radius Cowork

25 days ago

This is a repost of an article from Radius CoWork, featuring an interview with our founder Dr. Matthew White -


Changing the Game: Why Tech’s Most Talented are Relocating to Erie

Many Erieietes have a love-hate relationship with their hometown. Whether it’s the weather, the economy, the potholes, or perhaps some unattainable standard we can’t reach because we haven’t entirely defined it yet, either way, the reality is that Erie natives are underselling the allure of their lakeside city.

Heck, just talk to an Erie transplant, they love it here! They appreciate its weirdness, how you can stretch a dollar like the elastic waistband on your Thanksgiving pants, and the way you can drive across town in the time it takes most west-coasters to make it out of their parking garages.

One of those transplants is Matt White Ph.D. He was born and raised in Canada by an American parent, so he has dual citizenship but chose the US to call home. While a lot of people joke about moving to Canada if our orange-crush-colored President gets re-elected, Matt could actually make good on that promise.

From Japan to Newfoundland, White seems to have lived in, or traveled to just about everywhere. He’s kind of like Erie’s own Dos Equis man—or like a government agent (a position to which he actually applied). Matt speaks several languages, knows an unusual amount of trivia on a wide variety of topics (I’ve asked him questions ranging from Mexican-street cuisine to excel spreadsheet functions, and he always knows the answer), he can hold his own in the boxing ring, earned his Ph.D. by 25, and most importantly, can make a good drink. And yet, for all his globetrotting, Matt’s in Erie to stay.

Real Estate To Buy For

“Life here is unequivocally better,” notes Matt in his lightning-fast prose. “People from Erie will be like, ‘Erie sucks, blah blah blah.’ But I’m like, ‘Where else have you been, though? Can I move you to Brooklyn for a few months and see if you want to come back to Erie when you live in your $6,500-a-month, 400-square-foot-apartment above a Vietnamese restaurant that’s open 24 hours a day?’”

Although it’s not necessarily what brought him to Erie, the cost of living is a strong selling point. If you look at Zillow’s index, Erie’s current median listing price for a home is $87,700. To put that dollar amount into perspective, the country’s median listing price is $275,000. Our homes are less than a third of the price. 

Always Be Learning

Matt’s thoughts come out in rapid-fire succession, but it’s not just babble. Every statement is punctuated with an example, a spot-on statistic, or an overarching point that’s as sharp as a thorn.

Chances are, it has something to do with his epic academic track record. While Matt insouciantly rattles it off like some readers-digest version of the Odyssey, his transcript is impressive. “I skipped one grade in elementary school and did IB (International Baccalaureate) in high school too, so I skipped about three years of college as well. I had my undergrad (English) when I was 19, another undergrad (Education) at 21, Master’s at 22 (Tech Ed.), Ph.D. (cognitive science) at 25… 26? …something like that.”

In the midst of his rapid-fire education, Matt got his start working on some big titles as an academic, studying Scribblenauts, an educational game for Nintendo DS, and World of Warcraft, a massive-multiplayer PC game during his Ph.D.

By 19, Matt was teaching high school Drama, and English classes. In his early 20s, he stumbled upon Erie. “Penn State (Behrend) said they wanted someone to totally build out a [game development program] from the ground up—should have a masters degree or better, ideally a Ph.D. in something relatively similar to engineering, and also be working in games,” he says of the college’s strangely-specific job posting. “They did two interviews.” One of which was Matt’s.

Having A Career You (Actually) Like

As far as a strong curriculum vitae is concerned, Matt’s holds some serious weight. By the looks of it, you’d think he had his early career as an educator all planned out, but that’s not quite the case. “My first job ambition was to be a secret agent,” he says with a smile that doesn’t as much say I’m kidding as much as it says, I’m still kind of interested in the job. I did an early interview at CSIS (Canadian Security Intelligence Service), which is sort of Canada’s CIA. Got through a few rounds of the interview process.”

Unfortunately, the secret agent gig wasn’t all it was cracked up to be. “See, in my mind, I was thinking: sleep with gorgeous women, strangle bad guys with piano wire, drink martinis, drive an Aston Martin. That’s what I was imagining when I thought ‘secret agent.’” As it turns out, the job was going to entail parsing through hundreds of wiretaps of people really not doing much of anything at all.

“As I looked more into the job, It turned out I’d just be sifting through hundreds of Arabic language wiretaps every day for the next four years until maybe I got to field agent. “Something about ya’ know, Mohammed is telling Khalid he’s going to pick up groceries, and we’re suspicious about it, so now I have to translate it, and it’s like, he’s literally just buying lamb. So that’s 40 hours a week, every week, for the next four years—it sounded like a prison sentence.”

Although Matt’s dreams of becoming a secret agent never came true, his career path as a professor worked out pretty well. In fact, it was during this time at Penn State Behrend that he met his beautiful wife, Katie. Just recently, they had their first child, McClain.

But we’re talking about a guy who now runs a video game publishing company and also works remotely for the services-giant Keywords Studios. So what the hell happened between teaching high school drama and opening the doors to Whitehorn Digital?

Getting Into the Weeds, Burs, and Whitethorns

In Old English, there was a letter called “thorn.” It once stood where “y” stands today. Those who want to understand the evolution of language will take a look at its pieces. In a similar fashion, to appropriately answer the question of how this once-aspiring secret agent transitions from point X to Z, it’s helpful also to consider what’s in the past.

“When I was a kid we were super poor,” White says in a way that showcases his strength rather than his struggles. “Not college-kid poor, like hunting-because-it’s-mandatory poor.”

As the son of a hairdresser and barber, Matt came from a family that wasn’t raking in much dough as it was. However, when he was three, his father passed away suddenly. His mother was then left to care for four children on a hairdresser’s wages.

To makes matters more challenging, Matt’s father was in the middle of—as White puts it—“A Davy Crockett fantasy.” The family moved out into the middle of nowhere and started building a house, a home that was about half complete when his father passed. “My mom didn’t want me to know we were poor, so she was like, “I’m gonna scrounge and get a NES, and be like, ‘Videogames! Let’s play them together! This is what normal kids do!’”

Matt notes that entertainment in all of its forms—be it sports, music, or video games—can be a coping mechanism for people. “Video games can help us get through some of the not-so-nice-parts of life.” In many ways, the games that his team produces at Whitethorn Digital underscore that notion.

“I’m happy to be publishing things that are a little lighter, a little more ethereal, a little airier, and a little more fun,” Matt says. “I find it very unlikely that we’d ever touch a horror game, for example. Not because we don’t like them, it’s just not our brand.”

Matt likes the “weird stuff.” He says the shoot-‘em-up game market is well-served. He’s looking to break the mold by adding new themes to this cookie-cutter market. “We try to add a little diversity to [the gaming industry]. We feature LGBT characters and people that aren’t just white dudes.” In conjunction with adding some diversity, Matt’s games often tap into that sense of fun we felt when we were kids, before games became characterized by high-definition violence, cringe-worthy stereotypes, and realistic firearms.  

“We try to avoid games that mediate people’s interactions with the world down the barrel of a gun. Not that we have any problem with that, I just feel like we don’t need any more,” Matt notes. “I definitely have a lot of nostalgia for the couch. Like being a kid and playing Mario. [Whitethorn Digital] does a lot of couch competitive and couch co-op stuff, where three of four people can just grab a controller and sit together.”

It would appear that for Whitethorn, games aren’t meant to pull you back into the turbulence of real life, but to provide a means of pure entertainment, personal connection, and youthful fun, like some modern-day-digital bonfire around which we can gather.

Redefining The Gaming Industry, Or Any Other

“It’s like the porno industry,” Matt laughs. “You think, that’ll be an easy job. Then you get in there and the labor standards are terrible. If you have a problem, they’ll be like, ‘Get out. 5,000 guys are ready to take this job.’”

The main problem is, there is such an oversupply of would-be game developers and shockingly low demand. For a single developer job post, a company might receive thousands of applications in the first few days. This industry’s over-saturation leads to some additional issues as well. Says Matt: “[Supervisors] will come around and be like, ‘Hey I noticed you only closed 80 story points this week. You know we got 400 applications for your position last time we advertised it, right?’”

The gaming industry is notorious for laying off hundreds of people in one fell swoop, especially if a game flops. “In the game industry, there is a practice of releasing a game and laying everybody off the day after it launches,” Matt says matter-of-factly. “That happens a lot. There are no unions.”

This was the exact scenario of Matt’s first position. “I left before the layoffs…It’s like an animal sensing an earthquake. You sort of know this game isn’t going to break even, and there’s going to be a hundred people without jobs tomorrow.”

In the games industry, there is even a routine practice informally known as a “layoff lunch.” Essentially, everyone who still has a job receives a dispensation to go eat lunch on the company and is told not to come back for the rest of the day. This is so that security can tend to the crying and screaming of those who are told they no longer have a position. “Unfortunately that’s how our industry operates,” Matt says. “It’s one of the reasons I took off and did my own thing. I don’t think people should be worked to death.”

Matt started Whitethorn Digital in 2016, during his California stint at Sony, but the cost of building that company – and the quality of lifestyle he lives while doing it – are far better in Erie than in a West Coast megatropolis. Today, his company has published five games, raised tens-of-thousands of dollars in development capital, and just launched an online IPO

Put simply: Whitethorn Digital helps indie-game developers with funding and everything that isn’tdevelopment. This could include accounting, business structure, sales, networking, and/or marketing. “After leaving PlayStation as a data scientist, I’d done biz dev roles, programming roles, usability roles, and even design roles. I’m kind of like a jack of all trades in this industry, so I can give a top-down perspective.”

Looking for the Remote…Jobs

Presumably, Matt’s to-do list is longer than the Final Fantasy compendium. In the coming months he’ll be publishing a book on his experiences in the gaming industry, has two jobs, and is the father to a newborn son. So what’s his trick?

“[Remoting working] has certainly made [the work-life balance] much easier…I didn’t plan to work remote or for this to work out that way, although I love that it did,” says Matt. Before landing a remote gig, Matt put in some serious time as an in-house data analyst/scientist for Volition and PlayStation, requiring him to deal with “exorbitantly long work hours, multi-hour commutes, and cutthroat corporate leadership.”

“At PlayStation, or any major studio (or tech company) in California really, you’re fighting two things: the gaming industry’s work hours and the fact that you live in California,” Matt says. “Because of that, these campuses will haul in basic services for you because they know they’re working you too long.”

These campuses have doctors, barbers, counselors, and you-name-it on staff. “They’re fully aware you’re not going to have enough time to get downtown to get a haircut.” To “help out,” these big players in the industry wheel out life’s necessities.

It was during a trim up that Matt finally decided to throw in the towel. “I’m sitting in this tin can in a 100-degree desert, getting my haircut by a guy who is super untalkative,” he recalls. “If you have an untalkative barber that’s like the worst thing in the universe…you’re just left to stew in your own anxieties, basically looking at yourself in the mirror asking yourself, How did I get here?

It was akin to, as Matt puts it, “a weird facsimile of living a human life.” “It’s an endless grind,” he says. “You wake up at 5:30 AM, make it to your job by 7:30 AM, work until 7:30 PM, and arrive back at home at 9:00, drink a beer, and then go to bed. I came home and was like, ‘Katie, I’m not renewing the lease, we’re going to PA.’ That’s pretty much how I wound up here.”

Joining the Circle

You would think a remote job might come with some big sacrifices, but if you’re an asset to your company, you can call the shots to a certain degree. “I stayed in the same position and have the same California paycheck, but live in PA,” Matt notes.

Matt’s modest about his sociability, but it’s his positive energy and expertise that helps him carry a conversation with anyone, anywhere. “If I’m skilled at two things, it’s talking too much and drinking too much, and I was doing both of those things during an Erie Entrepreneurs gala about a year and a half ago.” This is where he ran into Bill Scholz, co-founder of Radius Cowork. “Bill was like, ‘Hey, we run a coworking space, you should pop in.’ That’s that.”



We encourage you to check it out over on Radius CoWork




Just about $10K

26 days ago

Hey there investors- 

We can't tell you how much we appreciate you taking the time to consider investing in Whitethorn.  This week, we've been heads down pushing BOMBFEST through its certification processes and getting it ready for a January release.  We couldn't be happier to remind everyone that it will be available early January for Nintendo Switch, Playstation 4, and Xbox One, as well as PC. 

BOMBFEST was one of our first clients, and we're delighted to partner with Sudden Event Studios on getting this one out the door. 

Additionally, our client Brian Wilson launched his Kickstarter for his game Where the Bees Make Honey, which is a narrative, introspective puzzle adventure game.  It's exactly the kind of weird, off-beat indie game that we think demonstrates the magic of the genre. 

We hope you'll take some time to check them both out, and let your friends know about our OPO here on StartEngine. 

Cheers, 

M

We Voted!

about 1 month ago

Hey friends, 

Thank you to all of you who went out and voted in the US Midterm Elections yesterday.
This has been a challenging few years for us, and everyone at Whitethorn is proud to have participated in the democratic process. 

As for Campaign updates, we're pleased to say we've been featured in a few news releases, and have a few interviews forthcoming as well.  

Our founder recently did an article on Medium talking about making a game development hub in Erie, PA.  Whitethorn understandably features pretty heavily in that article. 

Thanks again for your support.  If you get a chance, we'd love if you'd tweet at us, follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitch, or Mixer - and share this campaign with your friends!  

Cheers!

Extra Life 2018

about 1 month ago

Hello everyone!  

Thanks so much for checking out Whitethorn Digital.  We couldn't be happier that you're here with us, following our progress.  We hope you all had a spooky and safe Halloween.  If you're interested, you can go check out Beans: The Coffee Shop Simulator and play the spooky Halloween expansion - The Fall of Beansylvania. 


Extra Life 2018

In other news, Whitethorn will be participating in Extra Life 2018.  Extra Life is a charity that helps sick kids in Children's Hospitals get the care they need.  Our efforts support the neonatal intensive care unit at St. Vincent Hospital in Erie, PA.  As part of the fundraiser, we, and thousands of other game developers and lovers worldwide will be streaming us playing video games and taking donations to St. Vincent all day on our Twitch and Mixer channels. 

While we won't specifically be addressing questions related to our crowdfunding campaign on the streams, we'll be present and you can get to know some of the Whitethorn team, including Matt, Matt, Katie, and others!  

Sharing our Campaign

We're so honored that you've supported us, and we'd be thrilled if you could let your friends and colleagues know about this offering on StartEngine by sending them our campaign url: www.startengine.com/whitethorn-digital 

Like with all crowdfunding, visibility is key, and we need to be as visible as possible to reach our goals. 



Thank you once again for all your support - hope you had fun on Halloween!

Sherlock Holmes, Managing Director 

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