Midwest Games is born

December 4, 2023

GREEN BAY, WI (August 22, 2023)

Today marks the launch of regionally focused video game publisher Midwest Games. Founded and helmed by industry veteran and former Netflix senior management Ben Kvalo, Midwest Games will focus on creating opportunities for the abundant talent across the Midwest and other underrepresented regions. Headquartered in Green Bay, Midwest Games works in residence at the offices of partner and lead investor TitletownTech, a venture capital firm anchored by the Green Bay Packers and Microsoft.

Joining the inaugural executive team with Kvalo as co-founder and Head of Partnerships is former XSET Co-owner Chief Experience Officer Rob Martin III. Additional key hires include former Vice President at Crunchyroll and Discovery Communications, Jennifer Corbett, who will serve as the Chief Marketing Officer, and former ProbablyMonsters and Harebrained Schemes Production Leader Chris Klimecky as Chief Project Officer. Advisory board members include former CTO of Striking Distance Studios and Vice President, Technology of 2K Mark James, and Meta Finance Director Liz Kuehn.

“At Midwest Games, our journey began with a resolute commitment to empower the vast talent pool residing in under-served regions,” said Kvalo. “We recognized that innovation and creativity flourish beyond traditional tech hubs, and that's why we set out to champion underrepresented regions, starting with the Midwest. Our mission is to provide resources for these talented developers to shine. Collaborating with TitletownTech aligns perfectly with our vision, as their philosophy of nurturing and inspiring the next wave of entrepreneurs resonates deeply with us. Together, we're poised to redefine the games industry, delivering stellar games and cultivating a thriving regional games ecosystem.”

“Our investment in Ben and Midwest Games is a testament to our shared belief that innovation knows no bounds,” said TitletownTech Partner Cordero Barkley. “Together, we embark on a journey to redefine entertainment by publishing stellar games and elevating the regional games ecosystem.”

Alongside the launch, Midwest Games also introduces today the company’s debut game, RA RA BOOM developed by Cincinnati-based Gylee Games. RA RA BOOM is a fresh take on the classic beat 'em up genre featuring frenetic 2D action with seamless 4-player co-op gameplay and a distinctive hand-drawn art style. The game's unique blend of lane-based melee and ranged combat keeps fights feeling fresh and fierce, while a heartfelt coming-of-age narrative weaves a story of four ninja cheerleaders from outer space fighting to save Earth from an army of AI robots gone rogue. RA RA BOOM's debut earlier this year made a splash with fans and garnered positive reviews from the top global games media for its refreshing approach to the beat 'em up format, engaging combat design, and thought-provoking narrative.

“We met with many publishers during the development of RA RA BOOM, and found that Midwest Games was the closest match to our goals and values,” said Chris Bergman, Founder of Gylee Games. “We're not just working hard to create successful games, we want to expand the opportunities for all developers in our hometown of Cincinnati, Ohio, and the rest of the Midwest.”

Midwest Games will make its public debut as an official sponsor of 2D Con, Minnesota’s largest games and esports event, taking place August 25-27, 2023. The event, an all-inclusive, family-friendly, and charitable celebration of the games community, will feature tournaments, live music, games, cosplay, industry guests, retro games and more. As a sponsor, Midwest Games' presence will include a panel introducing Midwest Games on Saturday, August 26, 1:00 PM,  RA RA BOOM Cosplayer, and a RA RA BOOM Gameplay Contest on Sunday, August 27, 1:00 PM CDT, where four contestants will compete on stage for the highest kill count.

“As we take this transformative step forward, we're driven by the belief that exceptional games have the power to transcend boundaries and connect communities,” Kvalo continued. “The launch of Midwest Games signifies more than just a company; it's a movement that celebrates innovation, diversity, and the limitless potential of creators, no matter where they are.”