October 20, 2013
Here’s a tricky question for you. What do Ludwig van Beethoven, Winston Churchill, Louisa May Alcott, Sigmund Freud, Albert Einstein, and Socrates all have in common? They were all told failure was their destiny.
But what really united this group of people is that they had the willpower to never give up regardless of what stood in their way. They exemplify the importance of sticking with your ideas when the world is against you.
Jared Steffes has met similar resistance with his current project, Furywing, albeit not nearly as harsh. This resistance is due to the fact that the idea is so radically different from anything people have seen.
Furywing seeks to revolutionize gambling entertainment by developing mobile gaming content that combines a slot machine with an actual video game. People are already paying to play mobile games, and $20 is next to nothing for slot players; why not combine the two and give 10 minutes of play time for $20?
“Why can’t a game of skill also be a game of chance,” asks Steffes. “Old arcade games like Gauntlet were made to eat your money. Being able to win actual money on those games brings them to a whole new level.”
This idea was born through an analysis of casino gambling. Consider that the average age of a slot player was 50, five years ago. The average age today is 55. The slot machine has failed to adapt to younger markets, leading gamblers age 20 to 40 to stay on the table games.
The question then is how t0 evolve that area of the gambling world for a younger crowd with Furywing. With mobile gambling being legalized in certain states, the answer for Steffes is to start small and target mobile platforms with custom-built gaming content.
“The resistance I get is from a lot of old brains telling me it won’t work,” says Steffes. “But this is the future of gambling, and I’ve finally been able to get some people behind me. We’re really going to ruffle some feathers.”
From the mobile platform, Steffes is aiming to grow Furywing to develop full-fledged slot machine-type games to be installed in casinos. And while the size of this project is overwhelming, Steffes has the iron will to succeed against the odds.
“I’m the kind of person to just Zangief situations,” says Steffes. “I don’t wait for them to happen; I go head first into the fray with a pile driver.”
His reference here is to a classic Streetfighter character with an insanely aggressive attack spread. But the analogy is a strong one because Zangief was one of the hardest characters in the game to take down.
Furywing was featured at Tech Cocktail’s Chicago Mixer & Startup Showcase on September 26th.
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